Most likely OTT wouldn't give up Zaitsev for Alzner and those picks... As sad as it may seem, he just might be their best RHD at the moment.
If anything, that's a better argument FOR making the deal. You're not winning anything with Zaitsev as your best RD, so may as well grab the picks and wait out the years of pain.
Dude, I don’t trust all these charts, I believe my eyes, I see how he plays and what his minuses and pluses are. He plays the physical game very well, he is not very good in defense and he has a rather low IQ, but if he is given the installation to play easier, then he looks good. This season, in general, I am pleased with the game of Risto, he began to play easier and make less mistakes. Obviously, he will not bargain for such a package. If our GM appreciated it like you, then Risto would no longer be on the team.
I refuse to allow the foolishness of executives to ruin my ACGM experience. I am the GM here, dangit.
Physicality's an interesting one. Teams that outhit their opponents are actually more likely to lose than win, less because hitting is bad, but more because hitting a whole lot tends to mean a team is chasing play a whole lot, which is bad. Amusingly, this trend continues into the playoffs (@petbugs13 did a thread on twitter last year tracking the record of teams that outhit their opponents). In general, I'm inclined to say that physicality is just stylistic, a means to an end. Whether or not a guy is physical doesn't say anything about good/bad, it just indicates how he's getting there. Risto also isn't physical in one of the most important areas: the blueline. He gives up a higher percentage of possession entries than about 80% of the league's defensemen. That's a huge problem.
Don't trust your eyes. They're lying ****s (Kyle Dubas quote). In all seriousness, the numbers can parse data from literally every minute Risto played from the start of the 16-17 season to the end of last year (the RAPMs haven't been run yet this year IIRC). Your eyes cannot do that. You have not watched all of those games, and you do not remember all that you have watched. That 2nd part is huge, too, certain stuff tends to stick out in the mind (like big hits) even when its game impact isn't comparable.
If you have firm eye test points, rules above apply.
I just don't think they are saving nearly enough money to make it worthwhile for them. The age difference combined with adding another year from Alzner would also be a major disincentive for them.
My belief is that if they were trading Risto, they would prefer to get a forward in return. Also trading him puts someone else in his exact situation, which isn't ideal either.
I do agree with your description regarding the benefits of sheltering Risto though ( also wouldn't hurt Zaitsev).
Risto's 25, which doesn't sound super old, but aging research suggests players peak between 23 and 25, generally, and 5v5 play is what they lose the fastest. Given that, he's probably never gonna be a useful 5v5 player for them, so the bigger deal is just cutting the cash down a bit. Getting more minutes for the other RDs isn't necessarily a bad thing either, Miller put up fantastic numbers with the Golden Knights and Jokiharju's been pretty good for them this year, too. If neither of them can handle it, the team can always trade one of those picks for Hainsey just to eat the minutes and let the others develop. It'd probably work better than Rito, anyway.
I dunno what the Sabres would want for Risto. Picks make sense in general, when this team regresses (like last year) it'll be back to the ol' rebuilding grind, and you always need more picks in a rebuild.
Zaitsev isn't half the player Risto is on the powerplay, though.