According to a report from Sportsnet NHL analyst Jeff Marek, the Buffalo Sabres are considering moving former #1 draft pick Rasmus Dahlin from the blueline to the center ice dot. In other words, the team is considering converting Dahlin from a defenseman to a forward.
From Marek on the most recent 31 Thoughts podcast:
"It seems like they're running a couple of different experiments on the ice: Tage Thompson is now a centre, there's been some speculation that Dahlin might take some shifts up front not unlike what Housley did with his Sabres career once upon time".
With all due respect, Dahlin is most certainly not Phil Housley, at least up until this point in his career. Set accomplishments aside though and Dahlin and Housley aren't even remotely the same style of player. Housley was, for better or worse, a pretty free wheeling, smooth skating, puck rushing defenseman who really acted more as a rover than as a defender. He was an incredible play maker, but he could get burned at any given time. Dahlin though... he's about as steady as it gets on the blue line. Yes, he has tremendous skill especially with the puck. Yes, he's an incredible skater. But... have you ever watched Dahlin for a second and thought he'd be a good center or a winger? It might translate just because Dahlin is so skilled, but to me whenever I watch him he just screams "steady, top pairing defenseman". His transition game is incredible, his skating, particularly his pivots and backward skating, is so smooth and he's so calm under pressure. These are all trademarks of an excellent defenseman and frankly it sounds ridiculous that the Sabres are considering forcing the round peg of Dahlin into the square hole of a forward position.
After all... don't the Sabres have bigger problems on their hands here? Just put Dahlin on the blue line, play him 25 minutes and night and forget about him. He's the type of player that you can just let him do his thing and reap the rewards. In the meantime, why not take care of your other problems like... oh I dunno... your $10 million captain who wants out of town?