NHL Trade Deadline: Why the Buffalo Sabres Should Trade Tim Connolly

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Late last night the Buffalo Sabres acquired Brad Boyes from the St. Louis Blues for a second-round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

This should be a telling sign regarding the future of Tim Connolly. Connolly is in the final year of his contract and is making $4.5 million and likely won’t be resigned.

Boyes is signed through next season so he is more than just a rental player. Boyes can play both the wing and the center position so it appears he may be Connolly’s replacement.

Factor in the emergence of Nathan Gerbe and Tyler Ennis and it makes all too much sense to deal Connolly.

With so many teams still in contention it is definitely a sellers market. If the Sabres are fortunate enough they may be able to get a second round pick back for Connolly. 

Even if the Sabres get a minimal return for Connolly, it will at least free up significant cap space and allow the Sabres to make another deal if they wish.

Darcy Regier has gone on record saying that he is making acquisitions with a long term perspective in mind. Trading Connolly would appear to fit into this plan seeing how his future probably won’t be in Buffalo.

One team has already called Regier about Connolly but they were shut down. Regier was reported as saying he has no intention of trading Connolly. 

The players you get inquiries on are the players that will be unrestricted next year,” Regier said Saturday. “A number of those players have moved, but again our focus is more on buying than it is on selling given where we are in the standings. We want to add to this team as opposed to lessen our chances.”

At the very least, the Sabres should discuss a contract extension with Connolly. If a deal can’t be reached now then one probably won’t occur in the offseason thus giving the Sabres even more reason to deal him.

Tim Connolly only has 26 points and is a minus-11. Making a change would be the best scenario for both the Buffalo Sabres and Tim Connolly. 

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