Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Quiet Before the storm

One day before the trade deadline, and everyone is mostly just waiting for things to start happening. With so many teams having a shot at the playoffs out west, really anything could happen at the deadline this year. However there is the possibility that overall things may just be a bit more quiet.

The Sabres strategy for the trade deadline is more predictable to guess than most, but even that is a bit of an unknown. Besides getting something in return for Afinogenov, Buffalo does not have any obvious goals. Besides the injured Vanek and Miller really no one else on the team is truly safe.

Afinogenov, Connolly, Kotalik, and Spacek are the big name players set to become free agents this summer and slightly more likely to be moved, but anything could happen. There is some talk about defensemen Tallinder and Paetsch who both have a full year remaining on their contracts. Technically Buffalo is still in this so they are not sellers, but it is questionable what may happen.

Overall this should be a quiet trading year. There will probably still be plenty of action, but not in regards to the bigger names. Most of the true cup contenders are all pretty well set, with the top four in each conference more or less decided.

The other impact on the trade deadline this year is the economy. The salary cap is likely to stay the same for next season, and for those GM's who were counting on an ever expanding cap this could be a problem. Some bigger name players may get traded just for the cap relief. In fact Buffalo getting back Drury for Afinogenov almost seems plausible despite it not being an even skill for skill trade.

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