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Sabres Not Shopping Casey Mittelstadt



Casey Mittelstadt trade

When it comes to the trade deadline and the Buffalo Sabres, Casey Mittelstadt has been a hot topic in media trade speculation. Buffalo Sabres General Manager Kevyn Adams put that speculation to rest on his Tuesday radio appearance on WGR550 in Buffalo. “I know that there’s some reports out there that we’re shopping him – that could not be further from the truth,” Adams said, “that is just flat out not true.”

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“I’m not surprised his name’s out there just because of where we are in the standings, he’s our leading scorer, he’s had a very good year,” Adams continued. “Is Casey name coming up or am I having conversations? For sure. My job is to listen. My job is to ask questions. My job is to know exactly what’s out there.”

What’s out there from a contending team inquiring about Mittelstadt is likely not what the Sabres are looking for. Adams clarified that the Sabres center has two more seasons as a restricted free agent left on his contract, and he is not willing to sacrifice key players for more assets to rebuild.

“When it comes to our core players, I am not interested in moving guys out for future type of deals,” the Sabres GM offered. “If there’s a deal that we believe makes our team better today and into the future – meaning we’re not compromising short term – then I have to be open to that.”

“That’s my job. That’s the way I’m approaching this deadline.”

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Terry Pegula

Adams was also asked about his boss and Sabres owner Terry Pegula on his Schopp and Bulldog appearance. Questions of Pegula’s participation and engagement have arisen in more recent seasons, as his voice is heard publicly less frequently.

The general manager reiterated that Pegula stays in tune with the daily occurrences of the team. “If I don’t talk to him every day, it’s a text,” Adams said. “He’s as engaged as he’s ever been.”

Pegula also has an interest in the hockey operations side of things, albeit at an education level more than a decision-making one. “What I love about Terry, is he similar to me leaving the meeting, he highlights certain guys that he’ll go watch video…and he’ll have his own questions, Adams said. “He participates…more as someone learning about the players.”

What’s Gone Wrong?

The lingering question around the Sabres is why haven’t they taken the step forward so many were expecting. Not only hasn’t the team propelled forward, they’ve seemingly taken a step back.

“I don’t think we’ve been competing hard enough at the highest level consistently,” Adams explained. “I don’t think we’ve come out to start games going right after teams.”

The goal-scoring has plummeted for the Sabres, and Adams admits that’s a dangerous thing to see.

“I think there’s been times where we’ve maybe gotten away from our identity. We’ve been caught in the middle [as] not a really good offensive team and certainly not a good defensive team,” Adams said. “And I think when you’re caught in the middle in this league you’re dead.”

You can catch the conversation in its entirety here.