Late last night the Buffalo Sabres showed that they will in fact make a run for it.
Currently sitting only two points out of a playoff spot, the team made a move for Brad Boyes, sending a second round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The 28-year-old right wing will join his fifth organization since getting drafted 24th overall back in 2000.
Often moved due to inconsistent play, Boyes scored 76 goals between 2007 and 2009 but followed that up by potting only 26 goals between 2009 and now. His new team likely hopes that a change in scenery will help boost those totals back to his former mark.
However, it is not only the goals that Darcy Regier wants out of Boyes, courtesy of John Vogl of The Buffalo News:
“It’s not just the goals,” Regier said. “I certainly think the goals were there and they’ve dropped off, but it’s also his ability to make plays, his ability to play in and around the net. He’s got very good hands. He sees the ice well, can make plays, and I think that’s probably the shift you see in him statistically this year is probably gone from more goals on one end to setting the goals up on the other side.
Boyes can play anywhere from the first to third line and should bring another offensive weapon to the up-tempo Sabres. Considering Tyler Ennis, Jochen Hecht and Nathan Gerbe all have taken on greater offensive responsibilities, the move should alleviate some pressure throughout the lineup.
Considering he is signed through 2012, the team makes a low-risk move by acquiring a scoring winger who not only cost very little in terms of assets but will be on a relatively affordable deal should he rebound into his 30+ goal form.
It worked last year for Lee Stempniak, no reason to think it can’t work for a surging Sabres team who are revitalized by a new, enthusiastic owner.
In summary… (line changes)
Blues: The team cleared roster space heading into this year’s free agency market. They also exploit the ability to sell my moving an asset like Boyes who no longer fit into their system. Look for guys like Brad Winchester, Philip McRae and Matt D’Agostini to get time on scoring lines. If David Perron returns this season, he too will have a spot.
Sabres: Ennis, Gerbe or Hecht probably move off a scoring line. Lindy Ruff probably starts Boyes off with Tim Connolly in order to try to awaken the sniper.
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