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by Brian Duff / Buffalo Sabres

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – If you needed a goaltender – a potential No. 1 goaltender for the next 5-10 years – and after hours upon hours of deliberation, came to the conclusion that all it would cost you is a high-energy, very effective third-line player, would you make the deal?

At the end of the day, it’s my belief that that’s how the Sabres viewed what they would be getting at the draft tonight had they held onto the 21st overall selection.

And therefore they went ahead with the deal to acquire a young, large goaltender by the name of Robin Lehner, who is very familiar to the general manager and members of his staff.

I’ll admit – probably much like the rest of you reading this – that I was shocked at the price tag when this deal was announced. But less than an hour later (and before Tim Murray even addressed the media), I was much more understanding of how it came to be and why it made sense.

Am I still concerned the maybe Lehner won’t turn into a franchise goaltender? Of course! But I’m also concerned about every player on the roster and every player in the system and whether they will all reach their maximum potential. That’s just the way it is in this corner.

But when you look at some of the names in the system that we’ve been talking about for the past couple of years – and for that matter the evolution of the depth chart on the Sabres in this calendar year alone – you have to believe that filling out the third line won’t be a problem.

So look at it again after this sober second-thought.

Robin Lehner for a 3rd-line winger.

Would you make the deal?

I would.

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