The Buffalo Sabres may be sellers and winners in the trade deadline.
They unloaded Paul Gaustad on to the Nashville Predators in able to build up on prospects, obtaining a first-round draft pick in this year’s draft. Additionally, they nabbed fourth-round pick in the deal.
Gaustad is described as a premiere face-off specialist and a mighty fine penalty killer.
Was he worth a first-rounder? I guess we’ll find out in a few years for now. But for the immediate four-month future, it’s looking like it for the Predators that he’s worth it.
Sure, maybe Nashville (13th in PK) could use an upgrade.
But Gaustad, 30, is a good centre to have to fill some soft spots, to say the least.
Gaustad has a faceoff efficiency of 56.8 percent, which ranks 10th in the NHL, so he should adequately fill the role of Jerred Smithson, who the Predators traded to Florida this week for a draft pick.
Gaustad has finished among the top 10 in faceoffs the past two seasons.
Take: With the Buffalo Sabres out of the playoff picture, this deal may serve to be a good one. They unload on an upcoming unrestricted free agent while getting something to rebuild on in the near immediate future. The Predators sound a bit desperate to obtain a decent centre giving up a first-round pick, but perhaps it’s what Nashville wants — puck possession dictated by face-off wins.
If that’s their end game, they too have succeeded in this deal. But the Sabres last summer were against the cap ceiling. If anything, perhaps Buffalo have a little bit of leverage in adding a few pieces after a year of what was suppose to be another strong outing.