Tonight’s opponent for the Ottawa Senators, the Buffalo Sabres, are a team in limbo. It has been a disaster of a season for the Sabres, one that included the firing of a long-time coach and the trading of their captain.
With the Sabres playing out the string, there have been rumors of a huge shakeup where there were almost no “untouchables” and the potential for trading of even key cogs was bandied about.
While the Sabres did make a couple of moves (shipping out veterans Robyn Regehr and Jordan Leopold as well as captain Jason Pominville), they stopped short of pulling the trigger on the likes of Drew Stafford, Thomas Vanek and even Ryan Miller.
From the outside looking in, it feels as though Darcy Regier‘s hands were tied. It doesn’t bode well for his chances to be in place for the rebuild the way Bryan Murray was trusted by Eugene Melnyk to oversee the reconstruction of the Senators.
Regier has dug himself a hole with big money contracts to the likes of Ville Leino, Tyler Myers, Christian Ehrhoff, contacts that they are having a hard time living up to. If it wasn’t for the performance of the top line of Vanek, Cody Hodgson and Pominville, the Sabres could easily be looking up at every team in the league in the standings.
The fire-sale that was expected from Buffalo never materialized, and it looks like ownership might have stepped in and told Regier to only move the older veterans and leave the rest of the build to his successor. The Pominville deal was too hard to pass up, as he netted the Sabres a bounty of picks and prospects that were worth far more to the Sabres’ future than Pominville.
Whether or not Regier is indeed allowed to keep hold of the reins in Buffalo remains to be seen, but it just seems that the Sabres wanted to do more at the deadline but his hands were tied.
Now they will play out the last 1/4 of the season knowing full well that it would take a miracle of epic proportions to overcome the 5 points, and more importantly 7 teams, to make the post-season.