The Buffalo Sabres' brass have made it clear they would be willing to make a trade before the offseason is over. Darcy Regier, Buffalo's general manager, has said at least twice this summeronce at the Sabres' announcing of their agreement with the AHL's Rochester Americans and the other to The Buffalo News last weekthat his team is looking to deal.
The Sabres went all out this summer in their push to prove new owner Terry Pegula is serious about winning the Stanley Cup. They signed top-pairing defenseman Christian Ehrhoff and top-six forward Ville Leino and traded for veteran blueliner Robyn Regehr. But because of the moves, the current roster is unbalanced. The Sabres have a surplus of defensemen and wingers, but are short at center.
When Buffalo signed Leino, head coach Lindy Ruff said he was confident that the former Flyer could move from wing to center. Therefore, Leino will likely man the second line with Derek Roy the team's first-line center. Tough guy Cody McCormick will likely be the fourth-line center. As of right now, that leaves Jochen Hecht and Paul Guastad competing for third-line center. Hecht and Gaustad combined for 24 goals and 36 assists last season.
The Sabres lack a solid third-line center, but they have the wingers to make the third line dangerous. Assuming Drew Stafford, Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, and Tyler Ennis make up the top four forwards, that leaves Brad Boyes and Nathan Gerbe for the third line. Boyes has registered two 30-goal seasons during his career and Gerbe scored 31 points in 64 games last season. But if they are going to win the Stanley Cup, the Sabres will need more than Hecht or Gaustad setting up Boyes and Gerbe.