Kane to Sabres: “Trade Up”4
Patrick Kane, as you all know, has just won his second Cup in Chicago. He scored the Cup winning goal last time. This time around the Big Dance, he was an incredible clutch goal scorer, lead his team in points, and nabbed the Conn Smythe trophy as the playoff MVP.
There were plenty of rumblings that the Sabres tried to move up in the 2007 draft to select Kane first overall. Unwilling (or unable) to put together a package to make it happen, they played the safer route, and selected TJ Brennan 1st overall – in the second round (the Sabres did not have a first round pick that year).
Since then, the Sabres have piled up plenty of good prospects after middling around 8th place in the Eastern Conference for years, leaving the stands at the FNC weary, and the Cup cupboard bare.
I don’t have access to parallel universes so I cannot say how things would have turned out if Kane was drafted by the Sabres. I can, however, say that it’s a helluva lot easier to make it to the Final with a generational player (see: Perreault, Gilbert and Hasek, Dominik).
Darcy Regier has said that trading up to that number one spot is “impossible.” Translation? It’s going to take a lot to move up – and by moving up, the Sabres would have to likely first gain the 2nd or 3rd pick and then try to move up again to 1st overall. That’s a lot of work, involving a lot of assets. But it’s not “impossible.”
The Sabres have two incredibly valuable assets that want to be moved in Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek. They hold 2 first round picks and 2 second round picks in the draft. They have exciting prospects. If there was ever a year where it was possible to move up, it would be this one.
Sunday, June 30 could be Regier’s greatest day. Or, it could be just another day at the office, where the decision is made to keep adding 1a/1b/1c type guys.
If Kane has told us anything through his actions on the ice, getting That Guy will get you that Cup. (Yes, supporting cast and all the other obvious stuff is important too, but the Sabres must get That Guy.)
Moving up will be expensive.
Staying put could cost us even more.
Good luck, Darcy.