When Drew Stafford played his first season for the Buffalo Sabres back in 2006, the young forward showed tons of promise, but as of late, Stafford has been much less than what was expected.
The 2004 first-round pick has worsened statistically every year since his rookie season.
In the 2006-07 season, Stafford’s average production time was 19:56—that’s almost one point every 20 minutes on the ice. This season, his average production time is 30 minutes.
While we are on the topic of ice-time, Stafford is averaging just 15 minutes per game, which is 38 seconds less than what he played last season. Also, he has also played over 18 minutes just seven times this year.
Stafford has shown promise with some dazzling moves in the past, like here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eTN8fB25UQ&feature=related
But it just isn’t enough to keep around past March 3, which is the NHL trade deadline, but more importantly, my birthday.
Hopefully the Sabres will grant me my birthday wish and get rid of “captain” Craig Rivet by then too, but that is a different article—one that you can read by clicking here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/337834-sabres-defensive-woes-led-by-captain
But let’s get back to Stafford.
In his last 12 games, Stafford has just three points and is a minus-three. The worst part is his plus/minus rating. He has had a positive rating in just one of those 12 games—this means that his defensive play is following his offensive play down the drain.
The first-rounder could still prove to be an excellent third-liner for a contender or even a first or second-liner for a team looking to build. Either way, the Sabres need to look at Stafford as a viable option to bring in a goal-scorer.
Buffalo has had a lot of trouble lately in terms of scoring and Stafford—along with a second or third round draft pick—might do the trick to bring in a player like Nathan Horton of the Florida Panthers, who according to the Buffalo News, may be headed the Sabres’ way.
Regardless of what happens from now until March 3, Stafford has not put himself in the best of positions to be in Buffalo much longer—but only time will tell.