You’ve all heard "The Twelve Days of Christmas", an English Christmas carol that’s been around for a couple of centuries now. Here’s a Rochester Amerks version of the song from five years ago -
10. A top-pair left-handed defenseman (LHD)
Rasmus Ristolainen has been producing scoring numbers the Buffalo Sabres haven’t seen since a certain gangly youngster by the name of Tyler Myers had a Calder Trophy winning season. The only knock against this 22-year-old has been that his advanced stats numbers have been short of elite. However, plenty of analysts will tell you that the kid is nothing short of a star.
The Sabres need more from the blue line. They still spend long periods of time hemmed in around their own goal because they can’t get a decent outlet pass, and when on the offensive, they’re not getting enough scoring from their defensemen.
Often, the best form of defense is offense, and Buffalo desperately needs that. Enter our Christmas wish for today - a top pair, left-handed defenseman who can either play with Risto, or else keep the McCabe-Risto pairing and immediately elevate the second pair. Heck, call them the 1A and 1B d-pairs if you’d like.
There has been plenty of conversation about the Anaheim Ducks salary cap situation, and the fact that they have a plethora of young defenseman who will be looking for big contracts soon.
Prospects Hampus Lindholm, Shea Theodore and Brandon Montour all have very bright futures, but it’s a 25-year-old by the name of Cam Fowler who can provide the instant upgrade that the Sabres need right now.
Buffalo has only had two goals from defensemen in 5v5 play this season, which is a very unsustainable model for making the playoffs, to say the least. Finding a new home for Fowler in the Sabres defense sounds like a wonderful Christmas present.