With Brad Boyes hopefully leaving the Buffalo Sabres organization this summer (they still technically have him until July 1) it will mark the departure of yet another failed deadline deal for Sabres GM Darcy Regier.
Whether you're talking about Boyes, Raffi Torres, Dominic Moore, Dainius Zubrus, or Steve Bernier, it seems like all of Regier's recent deadline day deals have gone south, prompting fans to either throw him under the bus as a poor trader, or to blame head coach Lindy Ruff for "ruining" another great player (Ed Note: Looking back on that list, let's strike the phrase "great player" from that last paragraph. Yikes.)
However, as I was researching the Boyes trade for his report card today, I stumbled across this old DBTB post by Dave Oleksy that reminded me about the deadline deals that worked out in Buffalo's favor. From Dave:
Top Three Deadline Deals
1. Chris Gratton and a 4th Round pick in 2004 to Phoenix for Danny Briere and a 3rd pick in 2004 - I don't think the Coyotes will be in a hurry to trade with Darcy Regier anytime soon. We all know the history of where these two players have been since that trade. Gratton has been all over the place (not contributing) and Briere will forever have a place in Sabres history.
2. Michal Grosek to Chicago for Doug Gilmour and J.P. Dumont - Obviously the Blackhawks were trying to unload the salary of Doug Gilmour but seriously? Did this trade really happen? Doug Gilmour contributed in his short time with the Sabres but had an unceremonous departure from the club. J.P. Dumont turned out to be a pretty good player for the Sabres before they were forced to let him go because of financial reasons. We'll never know if he was the missing piece to a run at the Cup but he was a great player in Buffalo anyway. As for Michal Grosek...well, who cares?3. Matthew Barnaby to Pittsburgh for Stu Barnes- This was a difficult trade at the time because Matthew Barnaby was a popular player with the Sabres. He was popular among his teammates and more importantly he was popular with the fans. Stu Barnes quickly erased the memory of Matthew Barnaby and was the leader of this team when they went to the Stanley Cup against the Dallas Stars. Barnes was always there to score the big goal when the Sabres needed it and was a key part of this team until he was traded to, ironically enough the Dallas Stars.
With all the hating on Boyes today - and rightfully so - I just wanted to remind folks that Darcy is capable of making deadline deals that pay big dividends. The big problem, though, is that none of these trades have happened since 2003.
Cody Hodgson was Regier's most recent deadline acquisition, and one of his most high profile trade acquisitions yet. But the question remains: will he be more Briere, or Bernier? Let's hope the longstanding Sabres GM is due for a deadline deal that works.