The Boyes move
I figured it’d be a good idea to wait to see how the deadline shakes out to talk about the Sabres making a move for Brad Boyes. With no other moves being completed by Buffalo, it looks like the folks in Pegulaville truly have put a premium on a playoff push this season.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
I was on record with the argument to sell at the deadline, not just because of the market, but because it didn’t seem like this was the team to buy for. That philosophy was predicated on the idea that Darcy Regier wouldn’t be able to make as smooth of a move as this.
While Boyes has struggled this season compared to his totals of years past, giving up a 2nd round pick for a player of this talent who doesn’t qualify as a rental is a pretty solid move. Personally, I hate moving high draft picks, especially in a salary cap era where you need to fill out your roster with young, cheap talent. But seeing as this draft isn’t very strong, this is the year to make this kind of move.
The Sabres will still have an issue amongst the forwards. The top 9 still has a hole without Derek Roy. With a defined group of 8 forwards with offensive skill (Vanek, Connolly, Stafford, Pominville, Ennis, Boyes, Hecht, Gerbe) and five players lacking hands to fill it out (Kaleta, Gaustad, Grier, McCormick, Niedermayer), who will be the odd man out of the lineup? How does the bottom 6 get sorted out? You’re gonna have two solid scoring lines, but there’s gonna be some tinkering necessary to find a third line that works. The fourth line has been a problem all season. Will Lindy be willing to put Rob Niedermayer in Craig Rivet’s “Old Yeller” role?
That all remains to be seen. We still haven’t seen Boyes put on a Sabres jersey yet, and tonight’s game against the seventh place Rangers is going to be an important experiment. With the first two games of the Brad Boyes-era coming against the two teams standing between the Sabres and a playoff spot, room for error is minimal.
Still, the feeling you get as a fan when this kind of thing happens can’t be disregarded. It’s nice to have an owner around who’s willing to take on salary. This wasn’t a player-for-player move. It was a move to buy talent. I could get used to that kind of thing.