Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News, for one. "Sabres need bold moves at trade time" screams the headline as he writes "they should trade Martin Biron" and "Darcy [Regier, Buffalo's GM], if you're serious about going for it go for it" without giving so much as an inkling into the constraints that Regier is under.
regarding Biron: there are no takers. Why? As has been described (here, ad nauseum), nobody is in a position to rent a goalie who will be a completely unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. I won't get into the argument that perhaps Biron should have been dealt last summer but at this point the only way Biron is dealt is either if he signs a multi-year deal as a pre-condition to a trade, or the Sabres give such an incentive to another team to make it worth their while to waste dealing for Biron (e.g. packaging young talent; I'm thinking it would take at the least Drew Stafford plus draft picks).
"make a deal" - Mr. Sullivan would be wise to understand that the Sabres have quite literally next to zero room under the cap for the rest of the year, unless they trade salary from their present lineup. However, if (for example) Buffalo can find someone to take a chance on resurrecting Dmitri Kalinin and his $2 million cap hit then by all means do "go for it." It's also not that easy to just "make a trade" - logic would dictate that to make a deal, you would need a willing (and somewhat reasonable) partner. But apparently it is just easier to wash your hands of that untidy mess and put out a public call for a "need to add depth" - sorry, but the *rumour that wouldn't die* about acquiring Kevyn Adams doesn't excite me. [aside: what is with the fascination with Adams? i get it: he's from Western New York. great. he's a fourth liner and borderline NHL player at this point.]
More from Sullivan:
"dealing Biron might create space for an additional forward (Kevyn Adams?) and a top four defenseman"Ignoring the Adams-worship...ok Jerry: give us an example. Who could Buffalo trade Biron to? What teams are there that would take on an UFA goalie AND give up a top four defenseman? For that matter, what so-called "top-four" defensemen are even available?
I'm actually anxious to see what Patrick Kaleta brings to the ice tonight - probably every bit of what Adams would. And you get your local kid angle, too.
Regarding putting Max on the long-term injury list: the CBA's by-laws are admittedly ridiculous when it comes to this issue, and it has been on the direct radar of the GMs this week at their meetings. But until absolute clarity is given to this issue, Regier is right to be cautious in this realm. The NHL has been pointed about teams circumventing the "spirit" of the salary cap laws, so Sullivan's comment about being "reluctant to use the loophole" seems rather flippant. Can you imagine the furor if the Sabres were actually found in violation of the salary cap??
It bugs me to no end when writers - be them professional or amateur - end up sounding like ignorant loudmouth Joe Fan wearing a Sabrejak at the end of the bar, spouting off ideas on what the Sabres "need to do" seemingly without any thought to the process involved. Sure, what fan wouldn't want their team to improve at the deadline, especially for a team apparently so ripe for challenging for the Cup? Unfortunately for Joe (Jerry) fan, this isn't fantasy hockey. There are rules involved. Rules that as of this moment, don't really help a team like the Buffalo Sabres.
Hell, why doesn't Regier just go after Alex Ovechkin? The Capitals are terrible, they're not going to be much worse without him are they? Come on Darcy, don't you want it badly enough???