The clouds never expect it when it rains
But the sea changes colours
But the sea does not change
On Tuesday afternoon, the Buffalo Sabres exercised their right to walk away from JP Dumont, rendering him an unrestricted free agent. On Sunday, an arbitrator awarded Dumont with a one year $2.9M contract. The 28-year old right wing notched 40 points (20/20) in 54 games during the 05-06 season, and 14 points (7/7) in 18 postseason games for the Crossed Swords.
I'm .... what's the word? Surprised. I figured that the worst case scenario there would be a sign-n-trade. Now the Sabres have nothing. They needed to clear some cap space for the signings of Ryan Miller and Dmitri Kalinin, plus a depth defenseman and a depth forward. I half expected him or one of the other guys to be traded away. This, I did not expect.
Kevin BFLOBLOG thinks they wouldn't have found a trading partner. Not with a $2.9M contract in pocket. I'm not entirely sure that I agree with that. I'll compare him to Matt Cullen, formerly of the Canes. Cully is 29, and scored 49 points (25/24) in 78 games in 05-06 and 18 points (4/14) in 25 playoff games. Both last season, and in his career prior to that, Cullen's numbers have been good, but not quite as good as Dumont's. At least not on a ppg level. Cully got a big contract with the Rangers for over $3M. I'm just saying that the market will pay that kind of money for that kind of player.
The Sabres could have gotten a draft pick and a backup goalie in trade. They could have gotten a two depth-type guys.
Dumont is a good player, and the Sabres will miss him. They needed to do something to avoid going over cap, though, and their options were pretty limited. He'll end up somehere very soon, and I concur with Kevin that he'll probably end up getting just over $2M. I can't imagine he'll be on the market very long. Keep your eyes peeled.
Cool points for getting the reference in the quotation.