Lindy’s not happy. Darcy’s not happy. Ted’s not happy. Terry’s probably not even happy. And Sabre fans are certainly not happy.
If you listened to post season interviews on WGR550, you may have detected a rather surly tone from the Sabres brass. It’s “playoff run or bust” in 2012-13 and all signs point to another frenetic offseason.
Darcy has five months and plenty of ammunition to rework the roster. Between prospects, picks and cold hard cash, there’s no move beyond Darcy’s reach.
The focus will be squarely on the center position and target “numero uno” may just be Pittsburgh Penguins Center, Jordan Staal.
You couldn’t draw up a better player to compliment the skills and talents of Tyler Ennis and Cody Hodgson. At 6’4″ 220 and just 23 years old, Staal is massive, talented, and productive. He’s averaged 22 goals a year over six seasons and is a +53 while playing primarily against the opponent’s top line.
Pat O’Mahony from “The Pitt Stop” sums up Staal’s value nicely.
Staal is a supremely talented center, both offensively and defensively. He works hard, kills penalties, and is, by all accounts, a great locker room guy.
WHY HE COULD BE AVAILABLE
Adam Gretz from CBSSports.com figures that salary cap constraints may make Staal the odd man out in Pittsburgh.
The Penguins are entering an offseason where they can start to negotiate, and potentially sign, centers Jordan Staal and Sidney Crosby to long-term contract extensions. Both players are eligible for unrestricted free agency after this season. This could prove to be a problem because of the salary cap, the uncertainty of the soon-to-be expiring CBA, and the number of other big-money players on the Pittsburgh roster, including Evgeni Malkin, whose contract is set to expire after the 2013-14 season. It’s only natural to assume that somebody is going to be the odd man out, and Staal seems to be a likely candidate.
WHAT IT WILL TAKE
Mark Madden at the Beaver County Times thinks that getting Staal might only take cap space.
Staal is a big-game performer. But the Penguins can’t stand pat after what happened. They might, but they shouldn’t.
Staal won’t fetch great return, not with just one season remaining on his contract. His biggest value might be enabling the Penguins to ditch defenseman Paul Martin, an excruciating bust since joining the team via free agency in 2010.
Want Staal? You’ve got to take Martin, too. The Penguins might get nothing much in return besides cap space.
Garth at Hockeybuzz.com thinks the Sabres have exactly what it takes to assemble an attractive trade package for the Pens.
The Sabres have exactly what Ray Shero and the Penguins are looking for in a trade partner: 2 first rounders and two second rounders in this June’s draft. They also have Derek Roy with term left on his deal (1 year $4 million). Buffalo also NHL-ready prospects like Luke Adam and TJ Brennan. Whats more, Mr. Pegula has the financial where with all to meet Staal’s financial demands. Pegula can craft a deal akin to that of Ehrhoff and Myers in order to create the needed cap room to sign and retain the essential pieces to the puzzle.
Will the acquisition of Jordan Staal turn the Buffalo Sabres into a contender next season?