Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dainus Zubrus is a Buffaslug

At least that's what Tarik and others are saying.

We get center Jiri Novonty and the Buffaslugs first round pick this year. I believe we now have two first round picks this year.

What concerns me about this trade is two things.

#1. Recent history. The last two deals we've done with the Buffaslugs didn't turn out too well for us. While the jury is still out on Jakub "and sons" Klepis (acquired for Mike Grier on March 9th, 2004), it isn't looking very good for us right now. Alexi Tesikov (acquired for Joe Juneau and a 1999 3rd rounder on March 23rd, 1999) was an outright bust for us. He only played 28 games for us (30 total in his NHL career) and registered one goal and one assist. Though that one goal was the first game winner under Ted Leonsis' ownership which earned him a $1,000 cash bonus. The only consolation on this front is that Juneau and Grier didn't do much in Loserville...er...Buffalo either.

#2. Check out Novotny's TSN scouting report. First of all, we have enough third line forwards. We don't need anymore. We especially don't need any with questionable work ethics. At least not on this team.

While it is nice to get an actual NHL player in addition to a first round pick for Zubrus, (we also threw in Timo Helbling much to my chagrin) I can't say that I am very happy with this trade looking at the long-term picture. Short term, I think it will solidify our first round pick being somewhere in the Top 5 this year which doesn't bother me very much.

However, this was a great chance to take an overvalued asset (how much of Zubrus' numbers are a result of skating with A.O.?) and fill a long-term need. This trade adds to an existing glut and now leaves us with no real options for a first line center other than Nicklas Backstrom. We better hope that Backstrom not only comes over next year, but is as advertised. What we do for a second line center next year is anybody's guess unless we believe that we can resign Zubrus as a UFA in the off season.



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