The makeover of the Buffalo Sabres has begun with a splash. An established scorer is out. A feisty player with desire is in.
The Sabres made an early summer blockbuster trade July 2, dealing three-time team scoring leader Derek Roy to Dallas for left wing Steve Ott and defenseman Adam Pardy.
"More than anything else we needed to move the balance of skill versus the physical nature of our game, being a tougher team to play against," Buffalo general manager Darcy Regier said. "Steve can play as a complement to our higher skill guys and contribute in a lot of different ways. I think he'll be very valuable for us."
Ott was an alternate captain in Dallas who had 11 goals, 39 points and 156 penalty minutes in 74 games last season. The penalty minutes ranked sixth in the NHL.
"I'm a guy that looks forward to an excellent opportunity and a new opportunity," Ott told the Buffalo News. "I love challenges, and if this is going to be a new challenge or a new adventure in my life, I'm really looking forward to this adventure more than anything."
Roy had 161 goals and 427 points in 549 games with Buffalo, but the team has not won a playoff series since 2007. A makeover was needed, and moving Roy was a big step.
"After the season I had a couple of meetings with him," Regier said. "I think he realized it could be a possibility."