Buffalo Sabres: 5 Players That Regier Should Consider
The Buffalo Sabres find themselves in a very auspicious and unfamiliar position. They have a surplus of cap money, two first-round draft picks, and a team that needs one or two pieces to make a run at the cup.
Unfortunately, the most pressing need for the Sabres is a No. 1 or 1a center, and the free agent market is very thin. They do, however, have money, picks, and players. It's now up to general manager Darcy Regier to turn those advantages into the final pieces.
Call the Kings
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The Los Angeles Kings have committed to Jonathan Quick. They also have 2006 first-round pick Jonathan Bernier waiting behind him.
Regier may not have to send a first-rounder there, so this could be an initial move. The dominoes could really start to fall from here.
The acquisition of Bernier could allow the Sabres to really go out and shop Ryan Miller.
Possible Multi-Player Deal with the Kings
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I know the Kings are still in the playoffs, but they do have quite a few high-priced forwards, and Buffalo needs a top center.
I don't really expect the Kings to deal Mike Richards, but I could see them dealing Anze Kopitar. Let's face it, the Kings probably value Richards, Dustin Brown and Jeff Carter. Kopitar easily has the least charisma of the group, but the most talent.
Maybe Derek Roy and a draft pick could be dealt here.
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The word out of Tampa Bay, for a while now, has been that Vincent Lecavalier is no longer needed. What do the Lightning need? They need a goaltender.
If the Sabres were able to land a player like Bernier, they could then offer Steve Yzerman a world-class goaltender by the name of Ryan Miller.
That would give the Sabres the center they have coveted for years now, and Vinny isn't exactly 40 years old here. This could make some magic for a few years.
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I'm not entirely sure just how available Stephen Weiss really is given the unexpected playoff appearance by the Florida Panthers. I've also heard rumblings of the Panthers trying to re-acquire Roberto Luongo. That could also change the outlook for Weiss.
Either way, it couldn't hurt to call them. I know Jose Theodore got them in the playoffs, but they could bite on Miller and they would have to send more than just Weiss.
Regier could fetch a nice package from the Panthers, as long as Weiss is the centerpiece of the package the Sabres receive.
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This one could be huge for the Sabres and Blackhawks. It seems outrageous, but it fills a huge need for both teams.
Regier would have to acquire a goaltender beforehand, but if he did, he could pull off a blockbuster.
The Blackhawks could get a goaltender to take the spot of Corey Crawford. The other options in Chicago are Ray Emery and Carter Hutton. None of them seem adequate. Miller would immediately send the Hawks to the favorites list in the west, even without Kane.
For Buffalo, Kane would serve an incredible dual purpose. First of all, he's a better center than any currently on the roster. Next, he's from Buffalo and his acquisition would drive the fans crazy and instantly make the Sabres a favorite in the east.