Sell high. Win the Cup.

pegula day2

Since the day Terry Pegula purchased the Sabres, the team’s stated sole reason for existence has been to win the Stanley Cup. It goes without saying that part of that goal is to get to the top as soon as possible.

pegula day2

With that in mind, here’s why trading Thomas Vanek NOW is the right thing to do.

Vanek is over-valued.

Vanek has often been a mixed bag. He’s effective, but not at the level of a dominant point-a-game player. In a league where an elite career starts at a point a game, the Sabres’ forward has averaged .81 points a game over his first seven years in the league. This season, he is averaging a mind boggling 2.375 — almost THREE TIMES his career average. There will never be a better time to maximize his value in a deal. Sell high.

The Sabres aren’t winning the cup this year.

We’re nine games into the season and it doesn’t take a genius to see that this team may not be built to make the playoffs, let alone win 16 times once it gets there. Call it a lack of chemistry, tired coaching, a lack of team competitiveness or whatever else; the Sabres are clearly missing some crucial pieces found in every Stanley Cup winner. They may develop, they may be acquired, but it seems unlikely those pieces will appear this year.

Other teams should be ready to gamble.

In a 48 game season,  it more likely that the playoff competition will be weaker than in years past. (The 2012 Stanley Cup winning LA Kings were still out of the playoffs after 64 games last year.) In a season where more good teams are going to be shut out of the playoffs, teams with a hot hand should be more willing to take a gamble for the big prize. Additionally, the season isn’t just shorter — it’s a different KIND of season. The schedule is packed into a tighter window and a different kind of team should thrive. This year presents a new kind of experiment for every team, and when a few teams soon recognize this, they should be willing to trade away traditional assets to up the ante on their hot hand.

The time is now. The only question is if Darcy has the cojones to make a change that will send every Sabres fan screaming out on the street for a few days while also bringing the Sabres 1-3 years closer to hoisting a Cup.

Astute observer, aspiring author, and student of the games.

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  1. problem is…. such a move would completely let the last remaining gasp of air out of an already deflated fan base…. he’s the only one on the ice worth watching. that being said, you bring up valid points.

  2. Problem is, the buy-low sell high philosophy doesnt necessarily translate directly to the NHL… no contender is goign to part with what Vanek is necessarily worth… all we would get is a myriad of draft picks which wouldnt really help us until 3 or 4 years down the road….. are we that far away from contending? i dont think so.

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  5. Overvalued by who?  By the Sabres who have had the last several years to watch him, or to the other teams in the NHL that are 100% capable of looking at those numbers and going “gee, those are a little out of the norm.”  You act like Regier can somehow pull one over on other GMs while giggle to Lindy “he doesn’t normally produce like that, tee hee.”
    I’m confused.  You say the Sabres have no shot at winning the cup because they’re missing some key pieces (and it’s worth noting that they also therefore have some key pieces, like a goal scorer) and then in the very next paragraph say it will be easier to win the cup because weak teams might sneak into the playoffs, almost directly contradicting yourself.
    If teams “should be willing to trade away traditional assets,” doesn’t that imply that there will be a LIMITED market for getting rid of a player like Vanek?
    Not only did you not give any concrete indication why trading Vanek might (MIGHT!) be the right thing to do, you barely managed to make sense.

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