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.”
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:
Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?
While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.
Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.
That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”
The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.
Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.
It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.