MONTREAL -- Just chatted with Sabres GM Darcy Regier about an hour before the draft starts. He said there's a pool of four to five players the Sabres are looking to pick, and he made one thing clear: The player they select in the first round will wear the Blue and Gold.
"We’re going to get a player that [the fans are] going to be thrilled with, that they are going to see play for the Sabres for a lot of years," Regier said.
Of the five players, the Sabres are fairly certain at least one will be gone before they pick at 13, so they'll need help to get that unnamed prospect.
"And they could all be gone," Regier said. "There’s a better with four of them, a lesser chance with the fifth."
The Sabres moved up from 13 to 12 last year to select Tyler Myers, but Regier doesn't envision a need to do that today.
"This is a different draft," Regier said. "The cutline isn’t as distinct as it was a year ago. We thought there was a pretty significant drop after what amounted to Myers being the last of that group. We felt it was necessary to jump in, and I don’t see that this year. It’s not as distinct. It’s a little murkier."
Also murky is the trade value of the big names being dangled, like Dany Heatley. It's why the significant chatter has yet to yield moves -- at least as of this writing at 6:18 p.m.
"I do think that the market hasn’t been established yet for some of these players," Regier said. "The seller is looking for greater value than I think they’re going to get. Where it goes, I think will take some time. It may go well into July or August for some players, and some teams quite frankly may not be able to get rid of players.
"There’s some big names out there. Whether they get moved or not I think will be the question. It’s different from the standpoint that a lot of players not only have no-trade clauses in their contracts, they have no-move clauses. A player gets a lot of say in where he goes and when he goes."