It shouldn't be a surprise that Pierre LeBrun from ESPN's is reporting that the Buffalo Sabres are in the market for a fourth line center.
Cal O'Reilly (Buffalo) among those put on waivers today. Hearing that Sabres are on the lookout around the league for a 4th-line center
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) February 2, 2017
On Thursday afternoon the Sabres waived forward Cal O'Reilly after his most recent seven-game stint with the club.
If claimed, O'Reilly will become a member of whatever team claims him. However, if he clears waivers, the 30-year-old will return to the Rochester Americans (AHL), where he has spent the majority of the season.
Nicolas Deslauriers will center the fourth line against the New York Rangers on Thursday evening.
In 11 games with the Sabres this season, O'Reilly has one assist and a -6 plus/minus rating.
O'Reilly had spent most of his time centering the Sabres fourth line with William Carrier and Matt Moulson, but failed to provide the spark the team was looking for.
Consistency throughout the lineup has been a major problem for the Sabres all season. Last month they waived Derek Grant, who spent the first 35 games of the season in Buffalo. During that span Grant failed to score a goal and registered only three assists.
Who was the last legitimate fourth line center for the #Sabres? Rob Niedermayer ?David Legwand ?
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) February 2, 2017
The aforementioned issues down the middle on the fourth line have been a problem for years. Seriously, when was the last time the Sabres had a legitimate fourth line center? Well, that of course depends on who you consider to be 'legitimate'.
Looking back to just last season the Sabres relied on David Legwand to play in the middle on the fourth line. In 79 games Legwand scored 14 points (5G, 9A).
Personally, I don't think that's terrible, but ideally you would like your fourth line center to score more than that.
How they potentially acquire that center becomes the biggest question. General Manager Tim Murray could do a number of things:
-Make a trade
-Claim a player off waivers
-Recall a forward from Rochester
I'm not someone who believes any player can be called up and can fill that role. That being said, I don't know what exactly Murray has in mind. What I do know is that it will be an interesting few weeks leading up to the trade deadline.
Bring on the rumors!