Gaustad Saves the Day; Hodgson in, Kassian and Gragnani out1
Gaustad and a 4th round pick to the Nashville Predators, for a 1st round pick.
At the beginning of D-Day, I tweeted reservedly that if the Sabres actually landed a first rounder for Paul Gaustad and nothing else happened, it would be a huge win for Regier and the Sabres. This is a great hockey deal.
Goose was likely on his way out the door anyway, as a UFA at year’s end.
May, the former Sabres bruiser who now works as an analyst with Sportsnet.ca, sent that tweet out on the 26th. No offense to Goose, but $3mil is a lot of money for a fourth line grinder with zero playoff goals on his resume (he has 8 assists in 38 games played).
Earlier in the day, Sami Pahlsson, a simliar grind-it-out center, was dealt to the Vancouver Canucks. The Blue Jackets received two 4th round picks in return for Pahlsson, and it was widely believed at the time that Goose would fetch the same.
Darcy waited it out, and in turn, pulled in a big return.
Heck, I would have been pleased with a 2nd rounder for Gaustad. A 1st is a Deadline Day Heist.
Regier probably saved his job with this move. Sure, we all would have wanted to see other players moved as well (TSN is reporting that Derek Roy will not be moved, and no, we aren’t getting a 7th round pick for Brad Boyes), but this deal was smart.
The Sabres wound up the day as neither buyers nor sellers. They stayed patient, did not panic, and the move they made was to improve the team in the long term. That was the mantra going in, and that was the result coming out.
Well played, Darcy and Co.
Look for Luke Adam to return to the NHL now that a pivot position is vacant. And hey, with two first rounders, the Sabres can now #FailForNail/Mikhail and #MakeARunsForGirgensons. In other words, get the best possible player with what will likely be a high pick, and land a beastly centerman like Zemgus Girgensons later in round 1.
And again, we all love Gaustad to death, but the future is likely much better as a result of his departure.
Hodgson was the NHL’s rookie of the month for January. He has 16 goals and 17 assists (for 33 points) in 63 games this season. Here’s a link to his bio at The Hockey News.
next post: Hodgson Arrives in Buffalo on Pace to Join Elite Company