With the Sabres’ playoff hopes decreasing by the day, the focus in Buffalo has shifted to Monday’s trade deadline — specifically, which players could be dealt as the team tries to salvage something from this season.
One of the players being mentioned? Alternate captain Paul Gaustad…not that he sounds overly keen on being dealt. He’s spent his entire NHL career in Buffalo and made it clear he has unfinished business in the city.
“I’ve always wanted to be a Sabre and win in Buffalo,” Gaustad told the Buffalo News. “I’ve come to grow up here and my adult life has been in Western New York. Winning here is one of my main goals in hockey.”
That said, Gaustad knows he’s a tantalizing asset at this time of the year — impending UFA, good in the faceoff circle (ninth in the NHL) and at 6-foot-5, 225-pounds, a dynamic physical presence, especially in front of goal.
Gaustad’s also turned it up lately, scoring 3G-7A-10PTS over his last 10 games. It all adds up to a guy that could be shopped throughout the league leading up to Feb. 27 — but also a guy that’s found his groove and would like to remain a Sabre.
“A lot of personal success comes from team success and we’ve played well as a team,” Gaustad said. “When the team plays well, the personal stuff follows.”
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?