3pm on Monday, February 28th, can’t come soon enough.
That is this year’s trade deadline – when all the rampant speculation will finally end, and the angry mobs of fans calling for the heads of unpopular players will cease. The focus of hockey will finally return to the good ol’ hockey game, and I sure do miss it.
With that in mind, before moving onto the latest crack pot theory (this time from the Ottawa Sun) of how Terry Pegula is going to blow the Sabres current and future roster into ice shards to make some sort of statement, I would like to pause for just a moment.
After all, we all have to try to keep our feet on the ice while rumor mongers keep pulling our heads up into the clouds.
Take it away, Stompin’ Tom Connors:
Goodtimes. Now, back to the business of the deadline.
The latest blockbuster rumor involving the Sabres involves Pegula “wanting to shake the team’s foundation.” I can’t disagree with that more, but here is Bruce Garrioch’s take in “The Sun” today:
“The Buffalo Sabres could be one team that surprises at Monday’s NHL trade deadline.
New owner Terry Pegula, who wanted to win before he took over the franchise, has given GM Darcy Regier the green light to spend to the salary cap to win a Stanley Cup.
That’s not something the Sabres have always shown a willingness to do, so don’t be surprised if they are a player on either Dallas centre Brad Richards on Colorado’s Paul Stastny.
While the denials might be coming fast and furious out of the Rocky Mountains about Stastny’s future with the Avs, don’t believe them for a second. Pretty much every player on that roster is available.
The Sabres have the cap space to make a big move. They haven’t been the same since they lost Derek Roy to a quad injury earlier this season and need skill up front.
“If we’re going to do anything, it will be on the buy side,” Regier told Buffalo reporters Saturday.
Regier will have competition. Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke isn’t going to pass up the chance to get a good centre. Neither is Los Angeles counterpart Dean Lombardi. Both have the available cap space.
Regier has never been a big dealer. Stastny would require at least two young prospects and a top pick. But Pegula wants to shake the Sabres’ foundation. A major move would send a message.”
I don’t think Garrioch paid much attention to the Pegula Presser, wherein Pegula was adamant that there is no panic in his plans with the Sabres. He is not looking to make a trade just to “shake the Sabres’ foundation.” Goodness, that is a dramatic assumption. Both Pegula and Darcy Regier have stated that if any trades are made, they will be carefully made decisions, and they will be made for the long-term benefit of the team.
Aside from that dramatic leap of faith by Garrioch, his rumor synopsis can be further broken apart like this: the words “could,” “if,” “might,” and “pretty much” provide the shaky foundation of this work of art. Then, his argument sprawls out into a series of “if, then” assumptions, without any actual evidence to validate the information he is putting into print. An “if, then” argument sort of goes like this:
“If there is a hedgehog in my gas tank, then my car will not start.
My car will not start.
Hence, there must be a hedgehog in my gas tank.”
In other words: if Regier has been given the green light, then he will be in on Richards and Stastny. If Derek Roy is injured, then the Sabres are looking for a replacement. If Richards and Stastny might possibly be moved, then Regier is going to be in on it.
Heck, throw in Brian Burke and Dean Lombardi, to add some punch. Sneak in a “would” in the last sentence. Day’s work done.
I think it’s safe to say that Garrioch has a hedgehog in his gas tank.
If anything, fans should take every rumor they hear as nothing more than a distraction, a sort of sideshow entertainment as the regular season winds down. This latest example from Garrioch is a perfect example of how far the media will go to fill the hungry void created by fans desperate or bored enough to look for any quick fix for their teams.
Like Pegula said – don’t panic. The Sabres aren’t going to do anything unless the foundation is solid.
They are not going to trade for a player unless he has years left on his contract, or is willing to immediately extend his expiring contract. Those are your facts, Sabres fans.
That, and the fact Monday can’t come soon enough.