by PuckStopsHere on 10/29/13 at 12:05 AM ET
The Buffalo Sabres are in last place in the NHL with only two wins in 14 games played. Their most established forward in Thomas Vanek and their top goalie in Ryan Miller are both unrestricted free agents and quite likely to leave town at season's end. This creates an incentive for the Sabres to give up on the season. It seems that is what they are doing.
Vanek has been traded to the New York Islanders. By trading him now and not closer to the trade deadline, they are hoping to get a better return when they make their trades now than they would have got as rentals. Vanek was traded for Matt Moulson, a 2014 first round draft pick and a 2015 second round draft pick. Obviously the draft picks will have no value this season. Moulson is not as good a player as Vanek. For the remainder of this season, Buffalo has downgraded their offence.
It is quite possible things will get worse. I expect to see a Ryan Miller trade for futures before too long. When that happens the Buffalo season is effectively over. All that will be left is the race for a good lottery pick. We are barely a month into the season and Buffalo has essentially no chance at making the playoffs. They have essentially no chance at even making a good run at the playoffs.
Things are bad in Buffalo and they will likely get worse before they get better. This team is bad now and it will be worse by season's end.
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