Varada Traded to Sens for Prospect Reports:

The Ottawa Senators toughened up for the playoffs Tuesday by acquiring hard-nosed right-winger Vaclav Varada and a fifth-round pick in the 2003 draft from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Jakub Klepis.

Varada, 26, who has spent parts of eight seasons in the Buffalo organization, gives the highly-skilled Senators lineup an agitator. Ottawa’s lack of post-season success in recent years has been blamed on a lack of toughness.

“We would like to become a more aggressive team and Varada was available,” said Ottawa general manager John Muckler.

“He makes us stronger. He’s exactly what we need.”

The deal was made two days after Varada fought Tampa Bay goalie John Grahame on Sunday during Buffalo’s victory over the Lightning.

“ÉHe’s someone who will go to battle, go to war,” Muckler said. “He can be awfully mean in his own way.”

The Sabres were paying Varada $1.3 million US this season and he will earn $1.5 million next season.

Varada has seven goals and four assists in 44 games with the Sabres this season. He missed 17 games from Jan. 10 to Feb. 17 after spraining his right knee at Philadelphia.

“I’m excited, Ottawa’s the best team in the league,” said Varada. “I’ll try to play my way, do my thing, and try to help the team win.”

Muckler said he’s still looking to make additional deals before the March 11 trade deadline, but doesn’t know if he can get any done.

Klepis, 18, was Ottawa’s first-round pick, 16th overall, in the 2002 draft. He has spent the 2002-03 season in the Czech Elite League.

“Jakub is a young forward who has size, strength and excellent playmaking ability,” said Sabres general manager Darcy Regier.

In 376 career games, Varada has 46 goals and 98 assists. The native of Vsetin, Czech Republic, was originally San Jose’s fourth-round pick (89th overall) in the 1994 draft.

“Vaclav was a very important member of the Buffalo Sabres organization,” general manager Darcy Regier said. “We appreciate all he has done for the team both on and off the ice and we wish him well in the future.”

23 Responses to Varada Traded to Sens for Prospect

  1. mikster says:

    Pretty good deal.

    The Sens are spending money on a 3rd line guy who plays dirty and refs somehow don’t catch his cheapshots.

    Seriously, these guys need to get their eye sights checked out. On an OBVIOUS Devils goal against the Rangers, the goal judge somehow didn’t even see it, i saw it a mile away. Then they call BS penalties during the game, one where Friesen barely slashed i forget who….just marginal calls. It’s all they do, they guess.

    Anyway, back to the deal.

    Varada makes what, $1.03M i think so that’s no diet food for the Sens. However, he has a new change of scenery, there are slovaks on that team, Muckler knows him, and he is what they actually need.

    HOWEVER, this guy Klepis is quite good as well and will be, 2nd line key cneter for the Sabres.

    Sabres didn’t lose anything out of this deal. They got a quality prospect. But, Varada is a RW, and the Sens really needed a LW’er.

    Good trade

  2. titans says:

    Crap deal! Nothing more!

  3. Flyers_01 says:

    I thought the Sabres weren’t allowed to make trades to dump Salary until after they were sold? Wasn’t that what the Flyers were told when they inquired about Satan?

  4. MossRocks says:

    No, I think the Flyers were told that they wouldn’t be trading their best player while they were being sold. Satan affects the value of that franchise, Varada really doesn’t.

  5. amok says:

    This looks like a good deal for both teams, but I’d be pretty excited if I were a Sabres fan. Ottawa gets some much needed grit and the Sabres might have picked up a steal, if this Klepis kid is anything like some of hte other mid to late first rounders the Senators have had over the years.

  6. amok says:

    By the way, what does that strange looking mutt have to do with the Sens or Sabres? I know Varada’s dog but still…

  7. smooth4488 says:

    I think the Senators needed to add a little more grit, however, did they really need to give up their first round draft pick(Klepis)??HECK NO! 16th pick isn’t necessarily a late 1st rounder and sometimes Muckler makes me wonder……

    I think the Sabres got a steal!!!

  8. TheShack says:

    As reported by “The Hockey News” the Sens have the deepest farm/minor system in the NHL. They have the depth, so trading away a “skilled” prospect will not hurt them. Klepis is not likely to see the NHL for at least 2 maybe 3 years. Varada may be in his 8th season, but he’s only 26. There aren’t very many players out there like Varada, he’s no superstar, but if your team is lacking an element of toughness/agitation you’ve got to bite the bullet. All in all, this will benefit the Senators now and likely for a few years to come.

    I also take comfort in the fact that Muckler has knowledge of this guy and that he was there when the Sabres went to the finals.

  9. amazing_jesse says:


    Ottawa trades a first rounder for Varada?

    This Klepsis kid must have fallen out of favor in Ottawa or Ottawa is a little spooked by facing the Leafs again. Either way they wasted their First Round pick.

    Their depth is good that they can afford it, but this trade demonstrates to me that they are having nightmares of being run over by a Big Blue and White Mack Truck driven by Gary Roberts.

    Varada ain’t enough if you are that scared Muckler.

  10. Aetherial says:

    Has anyone watched the Sabres the last few times they have been on the playoffs?

    Varada is exactly what the Senators needed. This is a fantastic deal for them. Yes they give up some big upside but ALL teams looking at the cup better be prepared to give something up.

    He is a playoff/grit/agitator… exactly what a soft Senators team needs.

    Will it be enough? We’ll see who Toronto, Philadelphia and New Jersey get before the deadline before deciding that!

    Good move for the Sens though!

  11. GoSenators says:

    Klepis is supposed to be a playmaker. Best case scenario is he is another Havlat or Hossa in 2-3 years. Currently in the minors they also have Spezza and Vermette in the wings who are both skill forewards. We already know that while Havlat is a skilled player, a team of Havlats cannot win the Stanley cup.

    Varada has been compared to a little more aggressive and experienced Mike Fisher. On a team of skill players, I’d do this deal in a second. Everyone complains about their lack of grit, so they address it. Now people complain they gave up a potential skill player, who still being a prospect might not even make it to the NHL anyways.

    Besides, the way the Senators draft they can probably make use out of that 5th round pick anyways (like Alfredsson 6th round, Sami Salo 9th round, Karel Rachunek 9th round and Chris Neil 6th round)

    I’m by no means saying that this deal makes them a shoe in for the Cup but it’s a step in the right direction

  12. amazing_jesse says:

    What a constructive post Titans. Thank you for your insightful comments.

  13. turkey says:

    I would have to agree. This was a great trade for the ottawa senators. I can remember how Varada spoiled Ottawa’s Playoffs chances a few years ago. The Sens need a few more of these guys !!! Watch out Leafs !

    Sens rule !!

  14. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    Ottawa must be really desperate to put any kind of grit on their team, even if it means trading their former first rounder from last year. I mean, a first round player for Varada? No offense to Varada, but you could get a gritty player of his type for less than that imo.

  15. Sensaholic says:

    …but he shoots left. Transition should be easy.

  16. wieds says:

    This isn’t a salary dump at all. This is a smart trade for the Sabres. They’re getting rid of a player that really doesn’t put people in the seats or win you games and in return they’re getting a really good young prospect.

    You’ve also got to wonder about the leagues influence in this deal. Ottawa is a team that has just been refinanced and needs to make a deep play-off run in order to gain support in Ottawa and to make some money. Since the Sabres are owned by the league it only makes sense that they would make a few deals to help get some of the leagues teams more financially stable, even if it meant sacrificing another one.

  17. wieds says:

    Just because Klepis is a first round draft choice doesn’t mean that in 2 – 3 years he will be the next superstar. There is still a large element of risk involved. Secondly the Senators cannot be thinking about 2-3 years down the line, they’ve been having money problems for a long time that are not entirely fixed. There is no way that they will be able to keep all the stars they have around when their contracts expire. So now is the time to make a run at a cup and if that means sacrificing a player who may or may not be a player five years down the line then they have to do that. Varada is the type of player that the Sens need right now.

  18. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    “There is no way that they will be able to keep all the stars they have around when their contracts expire.”

    Who will replace those stars when Ottawa is trading first round picks away for a little grit that could be had for a cheaper rate elsewhere.

  19. wieds says:

    so are you saying that the senators should just concentrate on being a team that makes the play-offs every year and never wins a cup. That is what will happen if they don’t actually go out and try and get some players by trading away a few prospects

  20. meetak says:

    “trading first round picks away”???

    you make it sound like it’s a habit for the Sens to do this.More often then not, they’ve been criticised for trading players for nothing but draft picks.Now they do the opposite and everyone jumps on the deal??Get your story straight bub.

  21. PresidentQuinn says:

    Did anyone read Strachan on Did the Sen’s sign Wayne Gretzky?? cause I thought they signed Vaclav Verada, who had one good playoof series before he disappeared. This is a cosmetic trade made by a team trying to prove to it’s fans that they really care about winning. Rob Bryden should be so proud.

  22. Sensaholic says:

    ….and pay more salary.

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