We are currently 31 hours into free agency and while the big names (Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Shea Weber, Rick Nash, and Bobby Ryan to name a few) are still floating around as potential trades or unrestricted free agents, the Buffalo Sabres have made a few moves.
After doing quite well in the draft with picking up Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons in the first round, the Sabres have dabbled into free agency signing John Scott, and grabbing Steve Ott and Adam Pardy in a trade for Derek Roy. Yes, the same Derek Roy that has “no value”, would be traded for soup, and isn’t worth anything more than picks. By the way, I’m not even going to pretend I’ve followed the prospects and know them through and through — I highly recommend you visit Sabres Prospects. Kris Baker is phenomenal. You won’t regret adding that to your daily bookmarks.
If you’re like me, you wondered a little bit about John Scott when the news broke yesterday. In the words of Eric from 3rd Man In:
He’s a big slob who can beat the shit out of anyone and everyone. Emphasize big. Can’t skate a regular shift.”
Despite a need for scoring, for the right price I’m okay with this. John Scott’s $600,000 one-year contract is definitely the right price. Based on next year’s salary cap of $70,200,000, Scott’s contract takes up less than 1%. He makes more than only Matt Ellis. Right price, right?
After Milan Lucic ran over Ryan Miller and the team failed to respond resulting in basically the entire NHL viewing them as pansies, management knew something had to be done. It might be 8 months or so too late, but better late than never. The important thing to remember when looking at this signing is that Scott is not here to score goals, he’s here to settle the score. Considering he’s never lost an NHL fight, I’d say he’s pretty good at what he does in that department.
Since coming into the NHL in the 2008-2009 season with the Minnesota Wild, he has also played for the Chicago Blackhawks, and the New York Rangers — two seasons with the Wild, one and a half with the Blackhawks, and then half with the Rangers. All in all, he’s played in a total of 146 NHL games, scored just one goal and has 4 assists. Remember folks, he’s not out there to put points on the board. At 6′ 8″ and 270 lbs, just as Eric said earlier, he cannot perform on a regular shift. Last season he rarely played more than 8 minutes in a game, but had 39 hits in 35 games with 161 hits in 121 games over the past three years.
Less than 24 hours later, the news broke that Derek Roy was traded to the Dallas Stars for Steve Ott and Adam Pardy. It’s tough to tell at this point if people are more excited at Derek Roy’s departure, the actual gaining of Ott and Pardy (addition by subtraction), or possibly just because Darcy is doing something. First thing’s first — Steve Ott will not put up the points that Derek Roy has. He is not a point per game forward and he most likely will never be. The closest he has gotten to that milestone in a nearly full season is 46 points in 64 games which came in 2008 with his only NHL team, the Dallas Stars.
For some quick stats, one thing Ott will do is put his body out there and throw it around. Last season he had 278 hits in 74 games — Robyn Regehr had the most with 172 in 76 games, followed by Patrick Kaleta with 139 in 63 games. Ott’s 39 points last season places him 5th on the Sabres ahead of players like Tyler Ennis (granted he was injured nearly half the season), Ville Leino, Nathan Gerbe, and Paul Gaustad. The only players with more points were Jason Pominville, Thomas Vanek, Drew Stafford, and Derek Roy.
Then there is Adam Pardy, another defenseman to add to the pile. As he joined the NHL in 2008, he spent three seasons with Calgary and last season with the Stars. His first season in the league he played 60 games, but has gradually decreased in NHL games since. In 183 games, he’s scored 4 goals and 25 assists, which has also gradually decreased since his rookie debut. Essentially, Pardy was the throw in to get Derek Roy over to Dallas. Who said Roy has little to no value?
Darcy Regier has added more size to the team than they had before (Scott 6’8″, 270 lbs., Ott 6′ 194 lbs., Pardy 6’4″, 220 lbs.) and may even put a little fear into their opponents with these guys. However in losing a nearly point per game center, regardless if you want to accept what Derek Roy did or not, the spot needs to be re-filled. Even with the addition of Grigorenko and Girgensons, it is not a guarantee that they will be with the team in the fall, nor a guarantee that they will produce in the way we’d expect or desire them to if they do make the team.
The off season is still young, many players are still out there and it’s pretty clear that Regier is not done. It is rumored that Regier is making a strong push towards Rick Nash (who isn’t, and at what price?) even though the Sabres are not on his list of teams he’d accept a trade to and he has stated that Tyler Ennis will not be moved (in not so many words). Despite drafting ample amounts of centers in the draft, with Roy’s trade the team cannot afford to lose Ennis unless gaining double back. It’s simply not feasible.