Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hope doesn't seem to float anymore in Sabreland

Would you, in effect, trade a 29 yr. old, top-six/nine center who plays in all situations and averages three points every four games, for a bottom-six grey-beard on the back-end of his career and a mid-round draft pick (s) and/or a mid-level prospect?
Doesn't make a lot of sense, really. At least on the surface.

You could hope that C Derek Roy has a bounce back season, one that would get him back to 0.78 points a game; hope that he plays with the focus that he had in the fall of 2011 before he was injured.

But it doesn't seem as if Owner Terry Pegula relies on hope and it would seem as if the message is getting across to his charges.

They didn't hope that D Robyn Regehr would change his mind and allow a trade to Buffalo, they went out and convinced him that Buffalo would be his new home.

The Sabres didn't hope for D Christian Ehrhoff to sit down with them on July 1 to negotiate a contract, they went out and traded for his rights to talk to him exclusively.

They didn't hope that an opportunity to sit down with C Brad Richards would get them his services, they saw the writing on the wall and moved on, aggressively signing F Ville Leino.

And at the 2012 Draft, they didn't hope C Zemgus Girgensons would fall to them at #21, they went and made sure they got him by moving up to #14 (thanx Flames GM Jay Feaster.)

You could sit there and hope that Roy regains his form to become that top-six, two-way center he had the potential to become, or had become. But, it doesn't seem as if Pegula wants to sit around waiting.

Which puts GM Darcy Regier in a difficult position. He's always had unabashed faith in--read "overvalues"--his homegrown, "core" players, but he may need to eat this one.

Derek Roy is a real good player. He could play in a number of circumstances on a number of teams and make solid, potential Cup-winning, contributions. Just not in Buffalo.

Even though is stock is low right now, it doesn't mean he doesn't have value.

What it means is that one team will probably get a "steal" in a trade with the Sabres simply because there's not a lot of demand right now for a smaller center like Roy.

It's really more of a timing thing. Two years ago, Roy could have been looked at as a viable top-six, possibly top-line center in the NHL. But league-wide circumstances (like the emergence of size up-front) have diminished his value.

And it hasn't helped that the Sabres went all-in during the last four months down the middle.

They traded for Cody Hodgson and put Tyler Ennis back at center while at the draft they spent five of their picks on centers.

If that's not enough, the team is still talking about bolstering the center position.

So with all that writing on the wall, getting a 3rd and/or 4th-round pick and/or a mid-level prospect may be all that Regier could get for Roy at this time. And he may have to swallow hard and take it.

That being said, if they move on from Roy, they'll have a very, very young group down the middle.

They really could use a veteran prescence and as mentioned in another piece, Jason Arnott might be a good player to bring in.

At 37, Arnott's no spring chicken. But the guy can still play. He could anchor the bottom-six, help groom the youngsters, and add leadership to the forward group as well as add Cup-winning leadership to the entire team.

If there's another player out there who could play a bigger, top-six role while providing those intangibles, it would be safe to say that Pegula and Co. are on it. But as a back-up plan Arnott would look to be a real solid choice.

Could they get him to sign on July 1? Show him the money, and the term and I think the Sabres have a decent shot at it.

So, would I, in essence, trade a 29 yr. old, top-six/nine center (Derek Roy) who plays in all situations and averages three points every four games, for a bottom-six grey-beard on the back-end of his career (Jason Arnott) and a mid-round draft pick (s) and/or a mid-level prospect?

In this case, yes.

No comments:

Post a Comment