2012 NHL Trade Deadline: Market Value for 2/27

With how our beloved Sabres have played in this new year, the majority of us have resided in the fact that if there was a year to win the Cup, this is not the year. As the trade deadline approaches with our team sitting uncomfortably in 15th place, it is safe to assume that we will be a seller and not a buyer until the clock strikes 3:00 pm on February 27th. Therefore, it is imperative that we examine some of the players on this roster that might be moved within the next 7 days and investigate the value they might receive when brought to market.

If you are interested in such a discussion, come take the jump.

First, in order to examine and compare the value of some players on the Buffalo Sabres, a trade market value should be established. To do this, some of the more recent NHL trades with the players current stats will be listed below and used as comparisons to a few players on the Sabres roster. For any minor league player involved in a deal (or a player who has played the majority of their career in the minors), there will be a link to their hockey futures profile. The number and letter in the parenthesis next to their name is their estimated projection by hockey futures, with the number representing the player's potential ability and the letter representing the probability of the player achieving that potential (for a more thorough explanation, read this).

As was done in previous articles, the Goals Versus Threshold (GVT) stat will be used (explanation here), along with a Point Shares (PS) statistic from HockeyReference.com. The point shares stat will include both an offensive (OPS) and defensive (DPS) statistic, which are an estimate of the number of points a player contributes with their offense or defense, respectively. If you are interested in a more in depth explanation of the point shares stat, you should go here. For centers, their faceoff win percentage (FO %) will be included, while all forwards will have their even strength offensive zone start percentage (Off. Zone Start %) listed. Due to length, time, and since the trade deadline is usually used to acquire rental players, only this current season of stats will be examined. Below is the list of recent NHL deals that will be considered:

January 12th:

Trade 1:

To Calgary:

Michael Cammalleri, LW-C (stat-line below); Karri Ramo, G (7.0 C); 2012 5th Round Pick

$6 M (UFA in 2014)

GP G A Pts. +/- OGVT DGVT SGVT GVT OPS DPS PS FO% Off. Zone Start %
52 14 15 29 -10 3.4 0.4 -0.9 3.0 2.2 0.7 2.9 51.5 51.8

To Montreal:

Rene Bourque, LW (stat-line below); Patrick Holland, F (6.5 C); 2013 2nd Round Pick

$ 3.333 M (UFA in 2015)

GP G A Pts. +/- OGVT DGVT SGVT GVT OPS DPS PS FO% Off. Zone Start %
54 16 5 21 -7 1.9 2.1 0.0 4.0 1.5 0.9 2.4 - 48.1

January 20th:

Trade 2:

To New Jersey Devils:

Alexei Ponikarovsky, LW

$1.5 M (UFA in 2012)

GP G A Pts. +/- OGVT DGVT SGVT GVT OPS DPS PS FO% Off. Zone Start %
58 9 14 23 -6 1.8 0.9 0.0 2.6 1.4 0.7 2.1 40.0 47.9

To Carolina:

Joe Sova, D (6.0 C); 2012 4th Round Pick

January 27th:

Trade 3:

To Chicago:

Brendan Morrison, C

$850 K (UFA in 2012)

GP G A Pts. +/- OGVT DGVT SGVT GVT OPS DPS PS FO% Off. Zone Start %
33 4 7 11 -2 0.3 1.0 0.0 1.3 0.4 0.5 0.9 49.1 49.3

To Calgary:

Brian Connelly, D (6.5 C)

February 16th:

Trade 4:

To Philadelphia:

Niklas Grossman, D

$1.625 M (UFA in 2012)

50 0 5 5 1 -1.6 1.9 0 0.2 -0.6 1.9 1.3

To Dallas:

2012 2nd Round Pick; 2013 3rd Round Pick

Trade 5:

To San Jose:

Dominic Moore, C; 2012 7th Round Pick

$1.1 M (UFA in 2012)

GP G A Pts. +/- OGVT DGVT SGVT GVT OPS DPS PS FO% Off. Zone Start %
54 4 15 19 -10 0.9 1.1 0.5 2.6 0.0 0.3 0.3 55.5 42.3

To Tampa Bay:

2012 2nd Round Pick

February 17th:

Trade 6:

To Nashville:

Hal Gill, D

$2.250 M (UFA in 2012)

51 1 7 8 -7 0.1 3.6 0.0 3.6 -0.1 1.3 1.3

To Montreal:

Blake Geoffrion, F (7.0 C); Robert Slaney, F (5.0 C); 2012 2nd Round Pick

Trade 7:

To Philadelphia:

Pavel Kubina, D

$3.850 M (UFA in 2012)

50 3 8 11 4 0.0 2.6 0.0 2.6 1.3 0.6 1.9

To Dallas:

Jon Kalinski, LW (5.5 B); 2013 2nd Round Pick (conditional); 2013 4th Round Pick

Buffalo Sabres:

Now that we have trades to establish a market value, lets look at some rumored players on the Sabres who could be up for trade within the next week. This list will include most expiring UFA contracts (except for Jochen Hecht since he is on the IR) and some other players that have been discussed in various trade scenarios.

Paul Gaustad, C

$2.5 M (UFA in 2012)

GP G A Pts. +/- OGVT DGVT SGVT GVT OPS DPS PS FO% Off. Zone Start %
52 7 10 17 1 0.8 2.4 0.0 3.2 0.4 0.9 1.4 56.8 46.7

From recent trade talk, Paul Gaustad is probably our most likely asset that will be traded by the 2012 Trade Deadline. To determine his market value, we can compare his current stat line to Dominic Moore; they are both very similar players who are used as defensive zone, faceoff specialists with almost identical offensive output. When examining some advanced statistics, we can see that Gaustad has better offensive point shares, defensive point shares and defensive GVT. Including his size, PK ability, and playoff experience (38 games), Gaustad should fetch at least what Moore received on the open market a few weeks ago. Using current market value, Paul Gaustad should have the trade value of a 2nd Round or late 1st Round Pick.

Brad Boyes, C-RW

$4.0 M (UFA in 2012)

GP G A Pts. +/- OGVT DGVT SGVT GVT OPS DPS PS FO% Off. Zone Start %
45 3 10 13 -5 -0.4 0.2 1.9 1.8 0.0 0.5 0.5 46.3 52.0

Last year's trade acquisition, Brad Boyes has struggled mightily this season, only registering 13 points through 42 games. While being quite an asset in the shootout (shootout GVT of 1.9), he is almost non-existent most nights in 5-on-5 play. Comparing him to some recent trades (Morrison and Ponikarovsky), Brad Boyes has the worst stats of any regularly playing forward that has been moved this season. If a team is looking for another winger who is good great on the shootout, he could have some value; otherwise, I could not see Boyes having much value whatsoever. For this year, Brad Boyes should have a trade value of a late round pick (6th-7th round) or possibly a 5.0 C prospect.

Jordan Leopold, D

$3.0 M (UFA in 2013)

55 8 9 17 -3 2.1 3.0 0.0 5.1 1.4 2.6 4.0

Signed in the Summer of 2010, Jordan Leopold has been a 3-4 pairing defenseman who sees play on our PP and PK units. A consistent player, Leopold's name has entered into trade rumors recently since some think he is expendable due to the plethora of prospect D-men we have in our organization. Some people are also concerned with the cap space our team would have next year, and the moving out of Leo's cap hit would give us $3.0 M of additional space for next season. Comparing Leopold to some recent trades, he is statistically better (Pts, GVT, PS) than any of the D-men that have been traded. Even going back to the Spacek/Kaberle trade on December 9th, Leopold has had a superior GVT and PS when compared to both of them. Since the recent D-men dealt have at least been worth a 2nd round pick and/or other additional picks and prospects, it can be concluded that Leopold would fetch at least this much on the open market. If he is traded, Jordan Leopold should receive a late 1st round pick or a 8.0 B prospect.

Derek Roy, C

$4.0 M (UFA in 2013)

GP G A Pts. +/- OGVT DGVT SGVT GVT OPS DPS PS FO% Off. Zone Start %
56 13 19 32 -7 1.5 1.5 -0.0 3.0 2.0 0.9 2.9 51.3 52.3

Signing a 6 year, $24 million deal back in 2007, Derek Roy has been arguably the most consistent Sabres performer during the post Briere/Drury era. Due to his down year and the success of last year's team had without him in the lineup, fans and media personalities alike have been clamoring for him to be moved out of town. Comparing his value to the other trades above, Derek Roy best matches the statistics of Michael Cammalleri, who returned a good but at the time struggling top-six forward (Bourque), a 2nd-3rd line NHL prospect who may reach his potential, and a 2nd round pick. Being a permanent center with a 0.82 ppg career average could also add value to a potential deal (this ppg is also similar to Cammy's 0.77 ppg average). Using current market value, a trade of Derek Roy should acquire a struggling or borderline top-six forward and/or a high (1st or 2nd) round pick and 6.5-8.0 B or C level prospect.

Drew Stafford, RW

$4.0 M (UFA in 2015)

GP G A Pts. +/- OGVT DGVT SGVT GVT OPS DPS PS FO% Off. Zone Start %
57 10 18 28 -5 2.0 1.3 -0.8 2.5 1.4 0.9 2.3 51.5 53.4

Entering the first year of a 4 year, $16 million deal, Drew Stafford has failed to match his career best numbers of last season. Consistenly playing in the top 6, Staffy seems to be "snake-bitten" at times and fails to convert perfectly good chances to score. Thinking that the he is "overpaid" and a "bad contract", fans have wanted him to be traded him for many things, ranging from him being a part of a big deal to acquire a really good player, to just moving him for a "bag of pucks". Statistically, Stafford is having a similar year to Alexei Ponikarovsky who acquired a prospect projected to be a third line/5-6 D-man NHL player and a 4th round pick. Looking over his career, Stafford has a much better ppg rate than Poni (0.62 to 0.49) and should receive more value since he is 5 years younger and not a rental, which could make his value closer to Rene Bourque. Estimating his value with current market numbers, Drew Stafford should be worth a struggling or borderline top-six forward and mid-round pick or a high (1st or 2nd) round pick.


From the list of Buffalo Sabres players above, Paul Gaustad and possibly Brad Boyes could be moved by next Monday. Since our team is last in the Eastern Conference Standings and both of these contracts are expiring, it would be ideal to acquire assets for them since we have a high probability of not making the playoffs, therefore not needing these players for a playoff run. While Jordan Leopold would look to have good value, keeping him would give us some D-man depth next season, allowing us a solid top 4 D with Ehrhoff, Leopold, Myers, and Regehr. For those worried about cap space, the salary cap is estimated to temporarily approach $69 million next season until the new CBA is ratified (this could lead to a salary rollback just like 2005, which would effect all players and reduce their contact to fit within a lower salary cap).

As for Derek Roy and Drew Stafford, both players would more than likely receive the best trade value in the summer around draft time when teams are building their rosters for the upcoming season. Personally, I would like to keep Roy since I think his current year is a statistical outlier (i.e. a bad season) when compared to his career numbers. Because of this bad season, trading him now would only get the team less value than a summertime deal. Also, a trade of these two would give us two holes in our top 6 (and a major one at center) with players who have scored 15% of our goals this season.

Overall, it is a difficult time to be a Sabres fan. While I would hate to see a long-time player traded, I know that doing so would be best for the organization. I would be surprised to see a huge deal from Darcy within the next week, but I am also aware that anything could happen. Hopefully some moves can be made, the proverbial ship can be turned around, and we will not need to experience a season like this for a long time.