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Steve Montador dealt to Chicago

Darcy’s still dealing, apparently.

Just hours after the Sabres acquired the rights to pending UFA Christian Ehrhoff, Buffalo dealt defenseman Steve Montador to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Buffalo receives a conditional seventh round pick in either 2012 or 2013 in the deal, as explained here:

The Chicago Blackhawks have acquired the rights to defenseman Steve Montador from theBuffalo Sabres in exchange for the conditional seventh-round pick which Chicago will receive from Florida as part of the Tomas Kopecky trade…

…In exchange for Kopecky, the Blackhawks were due to receive the Panthers’ seventh-round selection in the 2012 Entry Draft, presently conditional to Nashville. If that pick is not available, Florida will transfer its own seventh-round selection in the 2013 Entry Draft.

Montador was signed as an unrestricted free agent in 2009. In two seasons, the defenseman scored ten goals and added 39 assists in 151 games as a Sabre. A physical presence on the blueline, he racked up 158 penalty minutes in his time in Buffalo.

Possibly the biggest goal Montador scored in the blue-and-gold was a second period goal against Boston in Game 4 of the 2010 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Putting the Sabres up 2-0 at TD Garden, with Buffalo at the time down 2-1 in the series, the goal was answered by two Bruins goals in the third period before Miroslav Satan ended the game in double-overtime.

This season, Montador had an assist on Tyler Ennis’ game winner in Game 5 against Philadelphia, his last point in a Sabres uniform. He was scratched for the Game 7 loss to the Flyers.

Should the Blackhawks not come to terms with the rearguard, he will be hitting the open market on Friday.

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Overreactions, Edition 65: Win-nesota.

It’s nice to see a player basically say “You know what? Enough of this shit. I’m gonna go score a goal and we can get out of here.”

Drew Stafford did just that Sunday night.

The Sabres forward, fresh off breaking out of a slump, stormed around Wild defenseman Brent Burns and ended the game less than a minute into overtime to give Buffalo a 3-2 win.

“I was kind of at the end of a shift, so I didn’t have too much left in me. I just tried going to the net and kind of pushed off of Burns,” Stafford said. “I just kind of leaned into him and happened to get a lane to the net, went in and put it in.”

Jason Pominville and Rob Niedermayer (yes, Rob Niedermayer) also scored for the Sabres, who blew a 2-0 second period lead but held on to get the two points. Jhonas Enroth made 24 saves for the first overtime victory of his career. His three previous wins were all by shootout.

The two points moved Buffalo into 8th place in the Eastern Conference, jumping idle Carolina. The Sabres still trail the New York Rangers by two points, thanks to their drubbing of Philadelphia Sunday afternoon.

Overreactions, Edition 63: It could be worse.

Yeah, it could be worse.

The Sabres let a glorious opportunity to put themselves into a playoff spot skitter off their stick, blowing two leads in the second period before falling to the Carolina Hurricanes in overtime by a score of 3-2.

Steve Montador and Brad Boyes scored for Buffalo, each breaking a tie game. Each goal was answered by Carolina. The Hurricanes never lead until Jamie McBain scored the winner in extra time.

“I thought we played great,” Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. “We had a couple of really good looks. When they don’t go in, you lose the game, but when you compete like that for 60 minutes, you’re going to win a lot of hockey games.”

Thanks to a Minnesota win over the Rangers, Carolina moved into 7th place in the East with the win. Buffalo, while losing a point on Carolina, remains two points out of the 8th and final playoff spot, holding three games in hand on New York.

In reality, Buffalo gained an extra game to catch 8th tonight. Toronto is breathing down their necks now, but it’s Toronto.

So, just remember, as you’re cursing Ryan Miller or being morose about the outcome, it could be worse.

  • Ryan Miller allowed three goals for the first time since the oft-referenced rest he got in Montreal a few weeks back. Even though all of Carolina’s goals were quite soft, he still put them in position to win in regulation. Offense has to pick it up. Read the rest of this entry

Now is not the time: The case to sell at the deadline

With the frenzy of deadline day only a mere week away, and the Buffalo Sabres living on the fringe of the playoff picture, there’s no easy answer as to what GM Darcy Regier should be doing.

(No, the answer is not “quitting” and/or “leaving town”, morons.)

New ownership is taking over tomorrow and with that comes hope for a new era. The only problem is the team isn’t showing us on the ice why there is reason to hope… for this season anyways. A three game losing streak comes at a horrible time, squandering a chance to put the team into the top 8 and creating doubt as to whether it would be worth it to try and make a push this season. The choice should be obvious.

Sell.

Sell everything you can and get whatever you can. The 2010-2011 Buffalo Sabres have done nothing to show they are capable of being successful in the postseason. What is the point of sacrificing potential down the road for a better chance to get nowhere? The returns for rentals is so high, it’d be stupid not to take advantage of it.

Now, keep in mind that the Sabres haven’t often been in the position to sell off rentals. In recent history, the only selling they have done was when they traded Brian Campbell at the deadline in 2008. At the time, Buffalo was in 9th place, tied with 8th place Philadelphia in points. Still, knowing they had an expiring asset, management decided to sell. The Sabres missed the playoffs, as they probably would have, finishing on a 9-7-3 run and four points out of 8th in 10th place.

But for the 19 games of Brian Campbell they gave up, the return was huge. The San Jose Sharks sent forward Steve Bernier and a 1st round pick to Buffalo for the red-headed defenseman. The Sabres would trade Bernier to Vancouver in the offseason for a 2009 3rd round pick and a 2010 2nd round pick, and then deal that 2010 pick at last year’s deadline in a deal for Raffi Torres.

In sacrificing a futile playoff push, the Sabres netted draft picks that brought them Tyler Ennis (the 1st from San Jose), Brayden McNabb (the 3rd from Vancouver) and an asset they could use for a rental when they have a better team.

This is not a suggestion to hold a clearance sale and get rid of everyone. It’s just a good idea to liquidate the expiring assets, because… well, they really aren’t going to make much difference this season. Read the rest of this entry

Overreactions, Edition 56: Blowing Opportunities

There’s only two things I hate in this world: people who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and losing to Toronto. Read the rest of this entry

Defensive logjam becomes defensive logjam

Everyone saw it coming and here we are.

The Sabres are ready for it.

Barring a trade, which seems unlikely, coach Lindy Ruff confirmed this afternoon that the Sabres will start the season with eight defensemen on their roster. Mike Weber, Andrej Sekera and Chris Butler would all have to go through waivers and the Sabres aren’t likely to take that risk to get one of them back to Portland.

Based on the fact Sekera and Butler struggled to get in the lineup at the end of last season, the road is clear for Weber to be the No. 6 defenseman to join Tyler Myers, Craig Rivet, Steve Montador and newcomers Jordan Leopold and Shoane Morrisonn. Provided, of course, Weber doesn’t stub his toe in the exhibition season.

“You always look at it that you can never have enough defensemen,” Ruff said. “It’s always tough when you have extra around but you get one or two hurt and that makes it tough on the team.”

Well, if you’ve got a surplus, why don’t you move one? Not that easy.

Darcy Regier isn’t the type to make a move for the sake of making it, especially not unless he’s getting at least what he feels is fair value in exchange. And to give up on a player he drafted? Fat chance. Read the rest of this entry