With the Cup Final complete, Jason Botterill has serious business to attend to. Naming a new head coach for Buffalo and Rochester are just two of the items. In recent days, Evander Kane and Robin Lehner have found their names in the rumor mill while nearly every team in the league are working to solve their respective expansion challenges. We take a look at what options are available to Botterill via trade and which options seem more and less realistic with just days left until the deadline for expansion.
Tim Murray has made it no secret that he’s in the market for a defenseman this summer, specifically a puck moving, power play quarterback. It’s also been noted that acquiring a left handed defenseman to help balance Buffalo’s current left-right disparity is likely high on Murray’s shopping list as well.
In a perfect world Murray would find a defenseman that checked all of those boxes. For example, Cam Fowler checks nearly every single one of those boxes nicely. Not only does he meet many of Buffalo’s needs, but there’s an expectation that he will be on the block in Anaheim this summer. So there’s certainly a natural fit there.
There are also rumors swirling about Fowler’s Anaheim teammates Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen. Tyson Barrie is thought by some to be a spare part in the eyes of Colorado management and even Kevin Shattenkirk’s name is making the rounds in the rumor mill. All five of these names are terrific defensemen who would drastically impact Buffalo’s blueline in the offensive end and when it comes to puck possession (Fowler’s fancy stats aren’t as impressive as the others, for what it’s worth).
The one issue is that three of the five defensemen mentioned above are right handed and the Sabres already have five righties on the roster. While maintaining a good balance between right and left handed blueliners is a key around the league, this may be a case where ignoring that stance suits the Sabres better. Continue reading
After the Buffalo Sabres rebuild took a big step forward this season, the expectations placed on Tim Murray have grown this summer. The process of turning the Sabres back into a contender will need to advance yet again and Murray is expected to be active on the trade market as he was last year.
One name that has begun to pop up as a trade target around the league (and for the Sabres) is Rick Nash. Whether or not Nash is an ideal fit for the Sabres is up for debate as questions over Nash’s age, contract and asking price need to be asked.
Nash, just over a year removed from a 42-goal campaign, is a powerful star forward who would slot in perfectly on the left side of Buffalo’s top-six. In that sense he’s almost a no brainer acquisition for the Sabres. He, among other long time Rangers, has been tabbed for a potential exit this summer as the Rangers are expected to reshape their roster after a disappointing first round playoff exit.
The Rangers are fighting a cap crunch due to big deals handed out to underperforming players, namely Marc Staal and Dan Girardi. Big money has also been paid to Nash (via his contract signed in Columbus), Henrik Lundqvist and Derek Stepan. Combine those big deals with a barren cupboard of prospects and picks after a number of deadline deals and Jeff Gorton is left with quite a pickle on his hands. Continue reading
There is a big gap between those on HF Boards proposing the Sabres trade Ryan Miller for Jonathon Quick, rumor sites tying different stories together to form conclusions and the men who actually make the deals in the NHL. This post would likely fall somewhere in the middle.
There doesn’t seem to be too many people left who would agree the Sabres are going to fare well with their current roster. Even Bucky Gleason’s most recent column added more fuel to the fire. While he seems to have a direct line to Ted Black (which is indeed a good thing), he did little more than insinuate players who could potentially be moved. The same goes for the columnist covering the Ducks. He made mention that moving Ryan Getzlaf would be a possibility. Never once was a source mentioned regarding any of those players truly being on the block.
Why bring this up? Because these columns are just that. Columns. If they were a report, sort of like those surrounding Kyle Turris, it would be a whole different situation.
It is painfully obvious that something needs to be done to awaken the players in the Buffalo dressing room. A safe bet would be to move at least two out the door for a fresh face. Preferably a fresh face that plays with a little jam.
The players atop the burn list for most Sabres fans will be Drew Stafford and Derek Roy. They certainly have earned their spots. In fact, those who look to the core of this team as the main problem would say these two are the most cancerous in the room. Moving that pair in some way shape or form would be addition by subtraction to most. I can’t say I would disagree, either.
That, of course, raises the question of return. Even one year ago Roy and Stafford would have fetched a pretty penny on the trade market. The same could be said two seasons ago. However, it seems as if Darcy Regier may have spoiled goods on his hands now. That’s not to say they wouldn’t be welcome additions to many teams. However, there isn’t a likely scenario in which Roy and Stafford can be shipped out for a brand new, shiny toy. Continue reading