Originally Posted by Jame
yes, these two are finally coming into their own in their early 20s... and the Sabres are going to trade them for pick/prospects.
Unless you are coming with a top 6 center, a top tier center prospect, or an established goal scorer... don't bother making an offer.
I agree that Sekera and Stafford are improving and maturing, but in my personal opinion I really feel like Sekera will end up like Kalinin. All that talent I just doubt he'll put it all together. and with Myers, Weber, Brennan, Schiestel, Pysyk and McNabb in the pipeline, along with Leopold signed for another two years,I think the Sabres will have enough depth on defense to part with Sekera. Especially if it was as one of the above posters mentioned, for Wheeler. That could make Stafford expendable.
As for Stafford, I believe he is getting better... much better. The Buffalo News last year wrote an article about him and his "band" and I really think he didn't take hockey as seriously as those guys who are really good top line forwards do. I believe he came into this year with a more focused, professional attitude and it's showing in his performance.
But I believe that if the Sabres can get a return of a top-6 center like a Jordan Staal, David Backes, Ryan Kesler, Joe Pavelski, or even Derick Brassard or Paul Stasny. I understand most of these guys are not on the block. And that you might have to overpay for them... But I believe that a big move is needed to make this team into a real contender again. Similar to what was done when the team traded for Briere and Drury. They brought two guys to lead this team and built around them with a few other acquisitions (Dumont, Grier, Numminen, Lydman) along with homegrown talent (Vanek, Afinogenov, Roy, Tallinder, Miller, Pominville).
Personally, if a package of Stafford and draft picks/prospects could net us a guy like Pavelski, or even better, Staal, I'd do it. In my opinion Staal is THE guy the Sabres need. Plays strong along the boards, great defensively, can be 25-30goal 50-60point guy.
I say use Stafford and either deal him and a low level prospect for Backes, or package him with prospects/picks for Staal. While it may seem an overpayment if you end up giving Stafford+2011 1st+ Gerbe or Stafford+2011 2nd+ Luke Adam + T.J. Brennan now, I believe that Staal is a player who will be worth it. But again, just my opinion.