Weber out after surgery; trade coming?

Portland defenseman Mike Weber is set to miss three weeks of action after getting his knee scoped earlier in the week. The leg was bothering the Pittsburgh native for quite some time, and could potentially force the Sabres into a trade with Andrej Sekera and Teppo Numminen injured, Craig Rivet still sore, and rookie Chris Butler already with Buffalo. The puck moving Marc-Andre Gragnani would be next on the call-up list, but Portland is already thin on the blueline with Mike Funk still shaking cobwebs from a concussion and Paul Baier out with a broken jaw. Nathan Gerbe could fill a roster spot as a forward, but that of course does little to alter the d-landscape. Currently seventh in the conference with a two-point lead over eighth-place Florida, the Sabres are about to embark on a six-game road trip with some holes on the blue. Per Lindy Ruff, Numminen will miss "some time" after taking a puck to the face in Saturday's win. It doesn't seem long term, but trade winds could be more of a reaction to Sekera's ankle injury. The Slovakian was logging monster minutes when healthy, and we're not too sure if Nathan Paetsch has enough in the tank to steady things in relief. Speaking of such a deal, The Toronto Sun states that league scuttlebut has Matthieu Schneider getting sent to Buffalo for the maligned Maxim Afinogenov.
The chatter is the Atlanta Thrashers are going to send veteran Mathieu Schneider to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for winger Maxim Afinogenov. Buffalo wants a blue-liner and hasn't been able to give away Afinogenov because no other team wants to pick up his $3.5-million salary ...
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Kris Baker
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Sunday, January 18, 2009 ×

Numminen now listed out out indefinitely after having surgery to repair a fractured bone in his face.

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Anonymous
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Sunday, January 18, 2009 ×

If Portland wasn't also hurting on the blue-line, what would you think if Gragnani was called up? (Didn't Brian Campbell struggle his first year in the minors too) And on another note, Zagrapan is up there in penalty minutes and never seems to get out of the minus category, how is his defensive game?

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Kris Baker
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Sunday, January 18, 2009 ×

Zagrapan comes back on D, but he's not a horse by any means, and is still prone to cheating at times. He does most of his work with his stick, and still gets overpowered down low in his end.

I like Gragnani as a player. He has great eyes, and is greatly benefiting from playing one position this year. I think he has a future as an O-minded defenseman in the NHL.

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Anonymous
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009 ×

Now you say O-minded d-man in the NHL...you do still mean with the Sabres right? I'd still like to see him get another crack at it with the Sabres. With the d-men that are likely to get signed this offseason, do you still think he has a good chance of seeing some playing time next year, like a good quality 7th d-man?

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