Fresh Blood

By Chris

Deadline Day is when fans can really start getting excited about their team again. Whether it’s from acquiring players or addition through subtraction, hopefully your general manager did something that will improve your club.

Darcy Regier improved the Sabres today.

He traded Nathan Paetsch and a second round pick to Columbus for Raffi Torres and then moved Clarke MacArthur to Atlanta for third and fourth round picks. Good work.

Also, it’s nice to see some hard work of our own pay off. Not to toot my own horn, but when looking at the Bluejackets roster, I had pegged Torres as a potential rental player Regier could be interested in. He improves the scoring and adds some depth to the roster.

More importantly, he’s essentially replacing Clarke MacArthur. And Torres is an upgrade over Sparky.

I called trading for Torres a potentially low-risk, high-reward scenario. I still feel that way. Paetsch was dead weight that was probably not going to be re-signed and getting two picks for MacArthur soften the loss of the second round pick.

Regier might be able to take these extra picks and move up in June’s draft if he so chooses. He’s got some flexibility now.

On a relatively quiet Deadline Day, no true gamebreakers were moved. Many of the deals were for complimentary players and, right now, it’s why I like what Regier did even more. He didn’t break the bank and didn’t give up on players who had a bright future here. Torres probably won’t be back next year, but neither were MacArthur or Paetsch.

The team still has a lot to overcome. Watching them play last night against Pittsburgh was uninspiring — especially given the rest they received and the exciting hockey we had grown accustomed to watching in the Olympics.

WGR is reporting that it’s unlikely that Torres will make his Sabres debut tonight. So that means we won’t get our first glimpse of him until Friday when Buffalo hosts Philadelphia. And that’s OK. We can wait. It’s not like MacArthur really dressed last night anyways.

Torres is a top six forward on this team. Put him on the left wing with Tim Connolly and Jason Pominville. Then Jochen Hecht can worry less about scoring, which isn’t his strongest asset. With Paul Gaustad out, a third line of Hecht-Tim Kennedy-Mike Grier could be very effective. The Sabres have three decent lines — and a grinding line in Matt Ellis, Adam Mair and Patrick Kaleta that won’t score a lick.

Today was a good day. Now let’s hope it works out.

One Comment

  1. I mostly agree. I give Regier a B-. Two other needs could’ve been addressed, but were not:

    1.) A gritty, 4th line winger/center that is better than Mair or Ellis or Kennedy. Stephan Yelle or a player of his caliber would’ve worked. If that player was good on faceoffs, ostensibly even better. Goose out for a week (or more) probably should’ve accerlated that decision.

    2.) More of a fairytale, but a guy like Vishnosky (sic) on the PP would’ve been nice as well. I know $5.6M is a lot, but it was a real need. Myers doesn’t have an accurate enough shot to be a PP defenseman. Chris Butler doesn’t have the skill.

    The loss last night hinged on two key situations…

    a.) The lost faceoff in 2nd period that led to the screened shot on goal, tipped by Eric Fehr…a faceoff Goose probably would’ve have taken and won.

    b.) The fact our 4th line of Mair, Ellis and Montador (!) was a combined -6. Running those guys out there for a shift is almost criminal at times.

    We lost despite holding the top 2 WSH lines (containing Semin, Ovechkin, Flesichmann, Gordon and all that offense) to one goal (Green’s). Normally, that is recipe for a win.

    On a night Miller was outstanding as usual (37 saves on 39 shots), we almost have to play flawless hockey if we are not going to score. That’s tough to do.