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Sabres know more trades could be on the way

by Chris Adamski

PITTSBURGH -- Following the Buffalo Sabres' morning skate Tuesday, they spent most of their time complimenting recently traded teammate Robyn Regehr.

They spent some of the rest of it wondering who could be next.

General manger Darcy Regier hasn't been very secretive of the Sabres' plans for roster turnover and a rebuild as the team enters its game Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins in 13th place in the Eastern Conference and appears on its way to a second consecutive season that ends short of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"It's a tough situation for everyone," Buffalo captain Jason Pominville said. "This time of year there's a lot of talk, a lot of speculation that comes out. Some guys hear it, some guys don't. We don't talk about those kinds of things before games, but obviously on off days and in the morning, guys will throw a chirp in here or there. And that's just part of the business and we have to deal with it."

The eight-year veteran didn't deny the multiple reports that he's submitted a list of eight teams to which he would veto a trade, a stipulation in his contract.

"Guys that have these kind of lists, for [the organization] to be able to listen [to trade offers]," Pominville said, "[Regier] needs to know."

Pominville, who has played all 577 of his NHL games for the Sabres, rejected the notion that Regier requesting the list from him was a signal he absolutely would be traded prior to the deadline, which comes at 3 p.m. ET Wednesday.


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"I understand Darcy has a job to do, and he's trying to do his best to do what's best for the team and the franchise," Pominville said. "By no means does it mean I'm gone or stuff like that. It's just part of the process, a step that he has to do and he has to deal with.

"It could happen, but would I be completely shocked if it didn't? Probably not."

That's a feeling echoed by virtually every player in the Buffalo dressing room. Regier has said publicly he will listen to offers for any player. Veteran defensemen Jordan Leopold and Regehr already have been shipped out -- Leopold to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday for second- and fifth-round picks in the 2013 NHL Draft; Regehr for second-round picks from the Los Angeles Kings in the 2014 and 2015 drafts in a deal announced Monday.

There have been rumors that Pominville, goalie Ryan Miller and a number of other players could be next.

"That's part of the time right now, part of the time of the year and where we're at," interim coach Ron Rolston said. "The guys understand that; it's just that making sure they keep their focus and are ready to go [Tuesday]."

Buffalo faces a tall task in trying to snap the Pittsburgh Penguins' 15-game winning streak Tuesday. The Sabres will be without leading scorer Thomas Vanek, who will miss his fourth consecutive game because of an upper-body injury.

"I feel a little better," Vanek said after participating in the morning skate at Consol Energy Center. "But still not there."

Reinforcements Luke Adam and Adam Pardy were recalled from Rochester of the American Hockey League in the 24 hours leading up to the game against the Penguins. Adam took part in the morning skate, playing on the wing on a line centered by Cody Hodgson. Pardy had yet to arrive in Pittsburgh but is expected to be in the lineup because the Sabres, for now, have five other defensemen.

Seemingly no one would be surprised if another is shipped out prior to the trade deadline.

"I'm sure it's in the back of minds of guys, but that's not our focus," Adam said. "Especially [Tuesday]. We're focused on the game, and if we can do that, by [Wednesday] it's over with. It's always in the back of guys' minds. ... It's a business, and that's one side of the business."

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