Following Tuesday’s win over Pittsburgh, Buffalo forward Steve Ott told NBC’s Brian Engblom he hoped the Sabres would be buyers at the trade deadline.
Then GM Darcy Regier traded away the team’s captain, Jason Pominville.
The move didn’t come as a huge surprise considering Pominville’s name was floated in trade rumors and the Sabres currently sit 14th in the Eastern Conference, five points out of a playoff spot.
But that doesn’t mean Ott took the decision to sell lightly.
“It was tough. Let’s be honest,” Ott told the Buffalo News. “What Jason has done for the Buffalo Sabres over the last 10 years or so is unbelievable. He’s a heckuva player. It’s not easy to replace a guy like that. It takes years to build a prospect into a Jason Pominville.”
When the dust finally settled on the trade deadline bonanza, Buffalo had shipped out Pominville, T.J. Brennan, Jordan Leopold and Robyn Regehr.
In return, the club got a number of draft picks and a couple of prospects, but nothing that would boost the current active roster.
For a self-described “hard-worker” that “holds things accountable” to himself, Ott couldn’t have been pleased with what many saw as waving a white towel on this season.
It’s probably why he wanted Regier to be a buyer on Wednesday — and probably why he’s still talking about making he playoffs.
“You always want to have hope and we still have hope in this dressing room,” he explained. “We have eight home games left and three on the road. A little bit of our destiny is in our hands but we have to win games.
“That’s a fact of where we are right now.”