Time To Make a Move Darcy

With Ville Leino now out for “weeks,” it is necessary for the Sabres to make a move to bring in an NHL-calibur player soon. This would not only help them out, but it would allow an undermanned-Amerks team to get a body back too. More specifically, I want to get a center. My two targets are Frans Nielsen of the New York Islanders and Jarret Stoll of the LA Kings.

Stoll is a 29-year-old pending UFA center who’s got a $3.6 million cap hit. Besides that, he’s good for about 35-45 points/year, is great at face-offs, is a decent shot-blocker, and he likes to toss his body around a lot. I think the Sabres could certainly use someone like that in their lineup. ¬†Because of his cap hit, Buffalo would need to ship a similar salary out and Brad Boyes seems like a good candidate. He’s also a pending UFA and he has a $4.0 million cap hit. On top of that, he has somewhat been buried by the Sabres’ depth at wing and the Kings are having trouble scoring goals. The Kings’ GM, Dean Lombardi has also had dealings with Regier in the past and acquiring Boyes seems like a reasonably low cost/risk, high-reward move to help bolster the scoring of his team in order to help complement their strong team defense.

As for Nielsen, he’s a little younger than Stoll (27 years old), but like Stoll, he’s also a pending UFA and can put up 35-45 points/year. With regard to face-offs, hits and blocked shots, Nielsen isn’t a physical player as Stoll and isn’t quite as good on face-offs, but he’s a better shot-blocker. The big difference between the two is that Nielsen’s cap hit is much smaller at $525,000 and his team is at best, a fringe playoff contender. Further more, the Islanders have a similar player waiting in the wings by the name of Casey Cizikas to take his spot, so it makes all the sense in the world that Nielsen will get traded sooner or later this season to a playoff team looking to add a very good role player like this. If Buffalo were to go after him now, there’s a good chance that they could get him for a solid draft pick (2nd or 3rd rounder) or a mid-rounder (4th-6th rounder) with a decent prospect (Crawford, Brennan, etc.).

If you’re wondering what my preference is, I would prefer to get Nielsen in order to preserve Boyes as either an asset for the Sabres in another trade later on or as a mainstay in the lineup if Drew Stafford were to get moved, but I certainly wouldn’t mind landing Stoll.

I’m sure there will be other names that will pop up in the coming weeks, but those were the ones that immediately came to mind as good, plausible additions to the team when I typed up this post. If you’ve got other players you’d like the Sabres to acquire, feel free to share your suggestions.

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