Tonawanda News

Sabres

February 20, 2012

Gaustad's stock rising as trade deadline approaches for Sabres

(Continued)

BUFFALO —

“I’ve always wanted to be a Sabre. I’ve always wanted to be in Buffalo,” Gaustad said. “I’ve come to grow up here. My adult life has been in Western New York. Winning here is one of my main goals in hockey.”

Gaustad said he discusses “all sorts of different things” with his agent.

“What I’ve told him and what I’ve said from the beginning is I have to focus on playing hockey,” he said. “That’s all I can control. There’s no point in talking or focusing on different things that I can’t control.”

Gaustad said he hasn’t had any in-season extension negotiations. He signed a four-year, $9.2 million deal in 2008.

“We talked a little bit about just where I wanted to be (before the season),” he said.

How does Gaustad balance any thoughts of leaving the only organization he’s known and joining another team?

“I just focus on playing the game and playing with the team I’m on, just like I’ve done years before,” he said. “It’s the same things. Address it the same way. You can get traded in any season.”

One scenario could have the Sabres basically renting Gaustad, who has zero goals in 38 playoff games, to another team and re-signing him in the summer.

“Anything’s possible, I guess,” Gaustad said.

Of course, Gaustad’s hardly alone. Deadline week can be a rough time for many players.

“You really have to avoid all the noise out there,” Ruff said. “In this situation, there’s a lot of it, which is understandable. But if you look at (Sunday’s) game, that’s an indication the players were focused.”

Sabres defenseman Jordan Leopold said the enhanced media today only makes deadline time tougher.

“It’s changed a lot over the years – the access to blogs, Twitter, television, the tickers on the bottom of the page,” he said. “The whole thing has evolved into a social media circus. You start reading all that stuff and believing it, you never know. It’s absolutely crazy at this time of year. As a player, the best thing you can do for yourself is not read any of that stuff.”

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