Sabres GM Regier heads toward trade deadline focusing on next year, ‘maybe even beyond that’

The Sabres, who host Washington on Saturday, are 12th in the Eastern Conference. They are four points out of the final playoff spot, held by the New York Rangers, with one extra game played.

The status has Regier looking toward draft picks and prospects instead of acquiring roster players.

“The value of draft picks is probably a little higher, meaning that with the cap going down and the new contracts on the other side that have been signed, I think it’s added value to draft picks,” Regier said. “In some ways, it’s going to be harder to acquire draft picks for players in the event you’re trying to trade a player to get draft picks. I think the value in past years, I think you could probably expect a little higher value in draft picks than you can now.”

Regier sees a bottleneck in the trade market but expects it to release.

“There’s things going on in the background, but I think what happens is teams generally have an order in which they would like to acquire players, so the players in front have to drop before the other moves take place,” he said. “It’s bottlenecked right now, but I think it’ll open up as we get closer to Wednesday.”

Regier declined comment regarding his players with no-movement clauses, specifically captain Jason Pominville and goaltender Ryan Miller. Pominville can submit a list of eight teams he would not want to be traded to, and he said today he has not been asked for a list.

His agent told The News via email that the list is submitted only when asked for, and a report that it is submitted prior to the season is false.