A Step in The Right Direction

In a surprising move, the Sabres opted to sign a bit of a throwback in John Scott yesterday. To put things politely, he’s not known for his hockey skills. Scott is a pure enforcer and is 24-0 in his bouts. At 6’8, 270 lbs, Buffalo basically signed the real-life version of Ivan Drago to play around ~10 games/season, which is fine. His contract is only for one season at $600 K. Just go pound some Bruins and I’ll be a happy fan. Here are a couple of nice fight clips.   

More recently (as in a few hours ago), the Sabres also traded Derek Roy to the Dallas Stars in exchange for Steve Ott (C), and Adam Pardy (LHD). To be perfectly honest, I’m not a big fan of Ott’s antics at all, but he’s a solid player and he will provide Buffalo with some much-needed grit. He’ll also put up 30-40 points, win plenty of faceoffs, and be a big contributor on the penalty kill. Ott could be slotted as a bottom-6 center, but more than likely, he’ll play on the wing and take faceoffs. Perhaps he could ride shotgun with Vanek and Hodgson.

Regarding Pardy, fans should not expect him to contribute that much to the team. He’s got good size at 6’4, 220 lbs, but he doesn’t use it that much and his skating & hockey-sense is lacking. He’s a 3rd pairing defenseman at best. It’ll be interesting to see if he ultimately ends up as the 7th defenseman or if he can find his way into a regular role. Barring an up-tick in play, I’m really hoping that the former happens.

As far as value goes, this trade is a flop. Derek Roy undoubtedly had more valuable finishing out his contract here than what he returned in this swap. However, to play “Captain Obvious,” this definitely is the precursor to something else. I’m not sure what that something is, but at the very least, there will have to be some subtraction on the blueline.

Overall, I think fans should like the idea of what this trade represents. Buffalo is trying to become a more physically tough team to play against, which is always a good thing. It’s taken longer than I would have liked for the team to move in that direction, but better late than never, right?