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Overall, the trade deadline can be looked at in two ways for the Sabres.
Short-term, it was really bad for the team. They were clearly sellers, losing their captain and two of their veteran defenseman that surely doubled as veteran leaders in the locker room. There is no question that the Sabres are rebuilding, but the extent to which is still to be answered, likely at the draft.
Given the roster-stripping that has occurred over the past few days, it's a lot more likely that the Sabres will see a top-five pick in the draft than a playoff spot. A top-four pick would guarantee them one of Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin or Aleksander Barkov, any of whom would likely start on the NHL roster in October.
Long-term, the Sabres look great for the future and not Edmonton/Pittsburgh "I was really bad for10 years and got five number one picks" great. There are still some great pieces in place, even ignoring Vanek and Miller. There are a lot of young guns coming through the pipeline in Grigorenko, Zemgus Girgensons and Armia.
While this deadline may be hard to swallow now, hopefully it still won't be in a year or two, but that's the thing isn't it; you just can't know.
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