Over the past few seasons, fans of the Buffalo Sabres have gotten used to saying goodbye to long-time members of the organization. Today, the team bid farewell to their longest tenured player, and made their first trade of the 2016 deadline.
The Sabres announced today that Mike Weber has been traded to the Washington Capitals for a 3rd round pick in the 2017 draft.
While Weber's play on the ice has been suspect over the years, he showed a resurgence this season, making huge improvements in possession numbers and was the only regular player on the Sabres roster to have a positive +/- this season. In Washington, he will likely be a depth defenseman, but when has any Stanley Cup favorite ever needed more depth on their blueline? Uh, actually maybe don't think about that so hard.
What has never been in question is Weber's heart and personality. He famously called out himself two years ago for needing improvement, called out the fans last season for cheering losses, and recently called Buffalo his home in some very fortuitously-timed interviews. He was a good guy with an honest personality, and I hope he gets to go on a deep playoff run with the Caps.
The Sabres will be keeping half of Weber's remaining salary this year, which, according to Pierre LeBrun, helped to bump the price up to a third rounder. The 28-year old defenseman was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft by Buffalo, and played in 341 games for the Sabres over the course of his career.
With the 2017 pick acquired from Washington, the Sabres now have a total of 20 selections in the next two drafts - 11 this year and 9 next year - and more are sure to come. And we were worried that the prospect cupboards weren't quite as fully stocked this year.
Give us your parting thoughts on Weber in the comments, and stay tuned for more trades on the horizon.