The Anaheim Ducks have a core that will be able to compete, but the roster balance is not built to peak success.
The contending teams have key veterans throughout their lineup setting a tempo and mentoring the youthful foundation.
Finding the right type of player to mentor your future stars, and if necessary, a team willing to trade that player to you is incredibly tough in today’s NHL.
It doesn't necessarily mean they have to play the same style or mirror each other’s play.
In Buffalo last year, Rookie of the Year Tyler Myers was groomed with partner Henrik Tallinder. This year Myers is missing that support Tallinder provided him on the ice.
Sabres captain Craig Rivet gets little credit for Myers success, but he was a key component in teaching the giant rookie how to be a professional.
Buffalo has shown signs they are ready to move forward without Rivet. Buffalo made him a healthy scratch from a game this week. When a team chooses to bench their captain a clear message is being sent to all players in the dressing room.
This is where the Anaheim Ducks and Buffalo Sabres have a chance to do business with each other.
The Ducks have no room for the hard-working winger Jason Blake and the Sabres could use some offensive flare. The Sabres are looking for a new leadership group likely lead by Paul Gaustad and can spare Rivet’s minutes on the blue line for a younger rear guard.
The Ducks would love to add Rivet.
Rivet could be a crucial piece to the success of Cam Fowler. Work ethic, dedication and passion for the game are all important elements to keep front and centre in Fowlers development.
The game has always come easy for Cam and in the NHL there will be times it won’t be so easy.
This would also re-introduce Rivet to his defensive partner from last year Toni Lydman and add a much needed second right handed shot to the defense core of the Ducks.
Blake has one more year left on his deal meaning Anaheim will likely need to send a mid-round pick with him to Buffalo. Rivet is a $3.5 million cap hit this year and Blake is a $3 million hit this year and next.
Both players are at the tail end of their careers and a swap could do them both a lot of good.
A team can never have enough grit and the Ducks have to be more difficult to play against each night.
Buffalo needs a spark!