Capping off a three point weekend, the Buffalo Sabres will be idle for the next three days as they prepare for their four game west coast trip. Well, most of the Sabres will be idle. General Manager Darcy Regier should be busy working the phones as the trade deadline looms with a Monday 3 pm deadline.
The Buffalo Sabres are six points out of a playoff spot with 20 games left to play. They sit 11th in the Eastern Conference and sit closer to last place, four point ahead of the Montreal Canadiens, than they do 8th place. So, what kind of moves should we as fans expect out of the Sabres if they make any at all.
The biggest thing to consider when looking at trades is the Sabres cap space. According to Cap Geek, the Sabres have $695,339 in cap space to work with. All of that cap space is dependent on Jochen Hecht continuing to stay on Long Term Injured Reserve. If he comes back, all of that cap space disappears. What that means for the Sabres is that if the team is going to make a move for a player, a player is going to have to go back in return.
The biggest pieces the Sabres probably have are Paul Gaustad and Derek Roy. Gaustad is an unrestricted free agent that would have a cap hit of $2.3 million and a faceoff specialist. Gaustad has been lined up against the scoring lines for the opponent and has been able to shut down those lines as of late. Gaustad's 56.8% faceoff percentage has him at 10th in the league in that category as well. We took a look at Gaustad's trade value a couple days ago and if he could return a 1st or 2nd round pick that would be nice.
The second player that could be on the move is Derek Roy. Roy has become the new scapegoat for this team after Tim Connolly left and fans would be happy to see him leave. The question is whether he could be moved now or if it would happen later. Roy has a cap hit of $4 million this season and next and has turned his game on as of late with points in five of his last six games. Roy could be part of a much bigger deal that would go down and shake this team up.
One thing that I know is that if this team doesn't make a move before the deadline, there are going to be a lot of upset fans out there.