136038612After there was chatter about a trade to the Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres center Paul Gaustad instead was traded to their Central Division rivals, the Nashville Predators.
Nice player, that Gaustad. Truculent. Defensively sound. Great for depth up the middle. A $2.3 million cap hit that expires after this season, as he's an unrestricted free-agent.
But for a first-round pick?
As reported by The Tennessean, Nashville sent a first-round pick in the 2012 draft to Buffalo in exchange for Gaustad and a fourth-round pick in the 2013 draft.
At the end of his term in Buffalo, though, Gaustad may be best remembered for what he didn't do than what he did. He was the 'toughest guy' on the ice when Bruins tough guy Milan Lucic ran Sabres goalie Ryan Miller in the open ice and Gaustad, like the rest of the Sabres, responded with nothing.
Again, this isn't to say that Gaustad isn't a tough player, or that he won't be an asset for the Predators. GM David Poile is going for it this season with his most aggressive moves — Andrei Kostitsyn, Hal Gill and now Gaustad — but the price for that last one is significant.
The Predators fans will honk for the Goose. But after seeing Sammy Pahlsson move for a pair of 4s, seeing Gaustad (and a fifth) go for a first is a little stunning.