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.”