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LeBrun: Gaustad could be fit in Detroit

Feb 22, 2012, 12:29 PM EST

Paul Gaustad Getty Images

Despite a recent stretch of good play, the Buffalo Sabres are still longshots to make the playoffs. Thus, the questions surrounding players like Paul Gaustad, a pending unrestricted free agent that could prove a useful rental for a Stanley Cup contender.

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun spoke to an anonymous NHL scout about what Gaustad could bring to a team.

“He had a slow start this year, I thought, but has picked it up in the second half,” said the scout. “He’s a big guy who can grind it out — you need those guys in the playoffs — but I’d be careful to make sure to pair him with better skaters. He doesn’t get up and down the ice too well. But he’s a good penalty killer, a good pickup for a good team that just needs to upgrade their size on their third or fourth line.”

LeBrun thinks Gaustad would be a good fit in Detroit, where coach Mike Babcock has said he’d like to add some size up front. The Red Wings could also use some help on the penalty kill.

  1. solador78 - Feb 22, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Watch the DRW flip him to the TBL for a 1st round pick.

  2. hawknuts - Feb 22, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    send him to vancouver

    they need size, strength and toughness on the 3rd and 4th lines

    • velocirapist - Feb 22, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      Higgins, Hansen, Lapierre, and Malhotra are all pretty gritty, and they rotate through Bitz/Weise/Duco pretty well so they don’t really need a hulking center that can’t skate.

      • hawknuts - Feb 22, 2012 at 1:47 PM

        while they do have a couple of players on those lines that can mix it up marginally, they need an infusion of talent and size. Ott or Gaustad would be a welcomed addition.

        maholtra is a faceoff guy. higgins is hot/cold and cant be relied upon. hansen is a good player and i like his game. lapierre is a tool. Ott can do the agitating and actually contribute as well, max doesn’t. bitz is a bandaid. weise and duco are alright but if we want to win this year (and we have a good base already) we need another piece to bring up the back up of the offense with toughness and the occasional goal.

        Vermette was just bought for a 2nd and a 5th. we should have been in on that IMO

      • elvispocomo - Feb 22, 2012 at 2:42 PM

        Agreed with velo, we don’t need to be in on every move that involves a center with size, or a bottom six grinder or a top 6 scorer or anything for that matter. Our makeup is pretty good and if there’s no real improvement in a move and we have to give up anything worthwhile to get it, it’s not going to happen. That’s likely going to be the case with Gaustad as we already have 5 true centers on the roster.

        Vermette isn’t a bad player but he’s two years into a five year, $3.75 per deal and we already have plenty of top 6 centers/left wingers so it’s not a useful deal for us. No matter how much you like the player, think about potential cap issues (and what we’d have to give up to make that work that the other team would want) and then consider who that player would replace in our lineup.

  3. buffalomafia - Feb 22, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    What are the Sabres going to get for him an octopus?

  4. federovs4skn - Feb 22, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    instead of throwing octopuses, we should start throwing used tampons!

  5. govtminion - Feb 22, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Gritty player willing to go toe-to-toe with the other team’s toughest players and stand up for his teammates when things are rough?

    Why exactly are the Sabres getting rid of a guy who does this job? They don’t really have another ‘tough guy’, do they?

    • odj810 - Feb 22, 2012 at 5:03 PM

      see kassian, Matt. I’m sure they wish he was around when someone had to stand up to lucic.

  6. buffalotears - Feb 22, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Stand up for his teammates when things are rough??????

    He was on the ice when Lucic ran Miller, and he did absolutely nothing.

    I like Goose a lot. The Sabres told him he would never be an NHL player if he couldn’t improve his skating and speed, so he came back with a detailed plan of how he was going to improve himself and went out and did it. But I find it troubling when he didn’t react to the Lucic situation. Goose, and the entire team for that matter, had to meet the day after to ‘go over’ the proper procedure if something like that happened again. He is a good leader, faceoff guy, and penalty killer, but at this point in the season teams are willing to throw around 2nd and 3rd round picks for guys like him.

  7. rabidbillsfan - Feb 22, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Yes, people are willing to throw around picks for guys. What is Buffalo? Rebuilding? Last time I checked, they are 6 points out with games in hand on all teams in reachable playoff position. They arguably have the 3rd or 4th most talented team in the east, and have handled the very best the east has to offer the last month. Gaustads line has been lights out the last 4 games, Lindy paired them with the top Islanders, line and held them pointless. Goose is way to big of asset to let go without getting a similar PLAYER in return. Ship him and the season tanks, I’d bet everything I have on it.

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