Well this certainly came as a surprise while I was eating lunch today:
Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) — The Buffalo Sabres traded RW Steve Bernier to the Vancouver Canucks Saturday, in exchange for a second round draft pick in 2010 and a third round pick (Los Angeles’ selection) in 2009.
This move certainly looks like one that sets in motion the wheels to another deal. For what, though, no one outside of the front office can really be sure. Bernier has a load of upside who was hampered by an injury and a tough adjustment period in his short time in Buffalo. He made a giant splash in his debut game but fell off the radar quickly after that.
Perhaps Darcy and company are looking to collect picks in hopes that it will sweeten a secondary deal. Maxim Afinogenov is still an option to trade away but what is he really worth?
Perhaps the Sabres are looking at putting the money that would have gone to Bernier (a restrcited free agent) towards new deals for Jason Pominville and Dan Paille. Then again, it’s not like Bernier was going to make that much in the first place, so it’s certainly not a salary dump move.
Whatever the next move is (and whenever it happens), hopefully it will make the Brian Campbell trade seem like it was worth it. As it stands, the Sabres traded Campbell for 2008 first round pick Tyler Ennis (who, at the earliest, is three years away from making the team), a third round pick in 2009 and a second round pick in 2010.
At this rate, we won’t know how the Campbell trade really affected the team until at least 2014–six years from now.
The next few days and weeks will certainly be interesting. Now we wait.