Update: follow along at the UFA Day Mega Chat. 11:45.
UFA Day is upon us.
The UFA crop is slim. Things are gonna’ get crazy.
I know a lot of Sabres fans out there are clamoring for a big time signing on a Parise or a Doan, but perhaps the best outcome for the Sabres is if they sign no one.*
“No one?!?” you ask.
Yup – and here’s why:
- We’ve overspent enough already on free agents.
- Buffalo needs to vastly overpay/woo Big Names in order for them to come here.
- The Sabres’ best return for investment right now is in the trade market.
Heck, I’d love Parise on this team as much as the next guy. I don’t care if he doesn’t play center – he scores goals. Lots of ‘em. And the Sabres need goals. But hold fast, fans. Don’t we already have an overpaid player who has scored 25+ goals for 7 straight seasons? Don’t we absolutely loathe the “Vanekontract?”
Both Vanek and Parise started out in the NHL in 2005. Vanek has netted 230 goals in 547 games. Parise – 194 in 502. Their shooting percentages: TV, .152; ZP, .114. Despite the goal scoring prowess of Parise, we just can’t afford another “Vanekontract” on this team. And trust me, Parise is gonna’ get paaaaaid.
Simply put, the Sabres cannot throw whatever remaining monies they have at The Big Signing. Rather, they should unload some contracts or bodies in return for a good return that fills a need – or strengthens a need – we’ve got the pieces to do that.
The Sabres would find better soldiers of fortune in the trade market. The draft and the trade market are the Sabres’ best bets for landing credibly good hockey players to fill needs. With the draft wrapped up, it’s time to swing a deal or three (assuming they can get a star to waive a NMC to come to Buffalo).
Go ahead, Regier, and get to shanghai us some awesome players – we won’t judge you here.
Remember, the Sabres have a glut of prospects coming up the pipeline, most notably on defense, and now suddenly down the middle. They also have that “Old Core” which has proven to be fantastically talented at not winning Cups, (or enough regular season games to even have a shot at the Cup).
- BEWARE: fake Twitter accounts are rampant on UFA day. Check the account before you RT it. Please.
- Big signings are announced long after Day One expires. Don’t fill my Sabres Twitter feed with all caps cussin’ if they haven’t done what you want by Sunday afternoon. Be patient.
And most importantly:
- Have fun. This is not the year we lose “Briere and Drury.” Kudos to New Jersey for possibly taking that crown of thorns from us this year, as Parise and now even Martin Brodeur could both bolt for greener pastures.
I’ll be joining the UFA Day mega-chat again with other Sabres bloggerati, hosted by the Goose’s Roost. I’ll post a link on my twitter when we’re ready for launch. UPDATE: again, here is the link to the Mega Chat, which starts at 11:45.
Go ahead and call me Buzzkill McBuzzkillington, but I just want the best for this team.
*Whatever will be shall be, but if it were up to me, my “big” target would be Zenon Konopka. He’s a big, mean body, and great on the faceoff dot. At 31, he’d be a very cheap replacement for Gaustad.
UPDATE: Gaustad was just handed $13 mil over four years. There goes another bank: broken. Meanwhile, Konopka is likely frantically practicing how to replicate Gaustad “switch-handed” faceoffs before the frenzy kicks in at noon tomorrow. Konopka is coming off of a one year deal, where he made just $700k in Ottawa.