the only way this happens if Sutter has another deal in place for a defender and needs the cap space
Yeah that is the only way it makes sense to me. You just don't trade a 25 minute defenceman. I know Aucoin isn't the most popular guy with fans, but he has been very good this season. The pairing of Regehr-Aucoin has worked out really well and don't see why Sutter changes that.
Connolly is a very skilled center and he would definetly help the PP. So injury prone though that I don't know if it would be worth the risk.
Sabres fan here. That Eklund proposal is a crock of ****. In other news, the sky is blue. The Sabres have 8 deffensemen on their roster and only three centers (four if you count Tinman Connolly but he'll get hurt soon enough) Would the flames be interested in a Jaro Spacek for Lombardi swap? He's a rental but could likely be retained for around 3 mil per. The Sabres would likely throw in a mid round pick if necessary, say a 4th. As far as Connolly he likely won't be available. We need him to play in the top 6 while Vanek is out and while he is playing he produces at a ppg rate which we will need for our playoff push and if/when he gets injured he will no longer have any value give he's a UFA to be.
Connolly is having a good year but i agree about him being hurt all the time and i cant see giving up Aucoin for another centre. Im really not sure if the Flames need another scorer up front with bourque and moss backing up cammaleri and iginla as well as they are. I loved the idea of Bouwmeester coming over but i think the price would be really high to make that happen. And even though Florida will probably lose him in the off season they might want to keep him around for the playoffs.