Tonawanda News


March 11, 2014

DUVALL: Sabres team is all about the future now


Tonawanda News — Sabres general manager Tim Murray sent two second round picks back to the Los Angeles Kings for two young forwards who project as potential top-six players. I'm much more in favor of this approach than simply stockpiling draft picks. High first round selections can contribute immediately but once you get past the elite talent in a draft class you're looking at adding players who realistically won't compete at the NHL level for two or three seasons.

While the reality is the Sabres — assuming they make the right moves in this rebuilding effort — won't be good for at least that long, waiting on the if-come of a raft of 18-year-olds is hardly appealing. They can cut down on some of the rebuilding time by converting picks into players farther along in the developmental process. As a season ticket holder staring down the prospect of paying more money to watch a last-place team, anything they can do to move this process along is a good thing.

Finally, it appears the best trade for the Sabres all season was one that didn't have to make at all. Over the last month, cornerstone defenseman and former rookie of the year Tyler Myers looks as though he's returned to the dominant form that had us all drooling when he broke in as a teenager.

If the Sabres have found a way to trade the Tyler Myers of the past three-plus seasons for the one who looked like a perennial Norris Trophy candidate it would immediately improve the roster dramatically and offer a blue line already stocked with young talent — Mark Pysyk, Rasums Ristolainen, Nikita Zadorov are all former first round selections who have shown promise in juniors and in the American league — a potentially fearsome unit in a season or two.

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