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March 4, 2009 - Matt Spielman
I hope the powers to be at the NHL can spell M-I-K-A-E-L T-E-L-L-Q-V-I-S-T correctly on the Stanley Cup.
No, in all seriousness, adding a veteran goaltender to back up Patrick Lalime down the stretch was a good move. Patrick Lalime is filling in nicely for Ryan Miller, but the Sabres have some busy weekends coming up and will need a backup that can play important games. That goalie is not Jhonas Enroth.
Dary Regier's reasoning behind locking up Tim Connolly was solid. The general manager said he looked at the upcoming free agent market and realized re-signing Connolly for two more years was better than he was going to do this offseason for the money. Just like the contract three years ago, if Connolly is healthy, it's a great signing, if he's not, it's another waste of Tom Golisano's money.
Maxim Afinogenov, Ales Kotalik and Jaroslav Spacek better play their butts off down the stretch for their own good and for the Sabres. I feel Spacek has played himself into another good contract, but I'd be surprised to see Afinogenov and Kotalik see much of a raise if any in their next deals.
The Sabres can be a very good team on certain nights, but it's hard to picture Buffalo being consistent enough to win 16 of 28 games against the best teams in the NHL this spring to win a championship.
Regier didn't mortgage the future and this team can still be good enough to make up three points with two games in hand on the teams ahead of them to make the playoffs and energize the Western New York fan base heading into 2009-10.
Woah -- late addition, 3:08 p.m. -- an actual addition up front. Borrowing from their neighbors the Sabres pick up Dominic Moore for a second-round pick. Like the move, another Darcy Regier steal. Nothing major, gave up a pick, but Buffalo has always been strong in the minors and fans will forget this pick was ever even gone. Coming down the QEW, Moore should be able to make it into town by 7:30 p.m.
Even later addition -- Al Kotalik gone for a second-round pick. This replenishes our draft pick we just lost and keeps all of the forwards on the roster in play without anybody being sent down or having to clear waivers. Will probably need somebody else to step up in shootouts through the end of the year, but at least we got something for him unlike Max.
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The Buffalo Sabres aquired Mikael Tellqvist in a trade with the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday. AP photo