The Buffalo Sabres are rebuilding. Danny Briere isn’t walking in that door (he finally went to Montreal, where he’s been rumored to go for years). Nathan Gerbe is going out the door. I’m sad to see Gerbe go, but he wasn’t scoring enough to justify being top 6, and as tough as he is, just wasn’t suited long-term for a checking line role. I hope he ends up in a great spot for him. Whatever city he ends up in is getting a great person.
When you’re rebuilding, your free agent pick ups are usually pretty limited. You’re not getting the older big name guys (Iginla, as an example) as they want to win this year. You don’t want the lower-tier guys for the most part, as the idea should be to see how your young players do with an increased role. Certainly, if Grigorenko is here all year as was stated, I don’t want him in the press box or toiling away 9 minutes a night.
Andy Boron at Die by the Blade covers some potential targets, but the Mikhail Grabovski situation intrigues me. He’s a player young enough that you may be able to sell him on a rebuild, and if he wants to stick it to the Leafs, that works too. He won’t come cheap, but the Sabres have cap space to spare with only Cody Hodgson left as a significant RFA left to sign (Sorry, Flynn). More so, if Miller gets traded. I’d want them to keep Vanek if they bring in Grabbo, but if a deal came along…well, make it work.
The idea of a Miller/Vanek trade intrigues me. Is the deal for a player? Who still needs a goalie? Beyond watching for that, my only other prediction is Darcy makes a good, solid move that no one was expecting, because he’s a black hole of information and we never know what’s cooking here. Go Sabres.