Botterill Takes a Swing, Acquires Brandon Montour

It was a busy Sunday if you’re a Sabres fan. Andy Strickland kicked things off with speculation that connected Rasmus Ristolainen with the Tampa Bay Lightning but that was quickly squashed by Darren Dreger.

But Strickland’s Tweet got the Sabres fanbase frothing and it was only a few hours later that Jason Botterill pulled the trigger on his biggest trade since acquiring Jeff Skinner, sending a first-round pick and Brendan Guhle to the Anaheim Ducks for Brandon Montour.

As someone whose been a fan of Montour’s for some time, I’m over the moon that he’s going to be wearing blue and gold for the foreseeable future. Botterill paid a fair price for the honor of acquiring Montour, but he also pulled from two areas he has additional assets so he isn’t stripping his cupboards bare with the package. Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 5.33 – Eichel, Booing and more Sabres Deadline Talk

Chris and Tyler spend far too much time discussing the fallout from Jack Eichel’s harmless comments following the Sharks victory in addition to hitting on Buffalo’s You Can Play Night and the fast approaching NHL trade deadline. We also focus in on the continued rumors surrounding the Coyotes and Islanders while hitting on a few more trade deadline storylines as Brian Gionta, Dmirty Kulikov and Cody Franson are starting to come up on watch lists.

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The Instigator Podcast 5.32 – Evander Kane, Trade Chip or Building Block?

With Evander Kane’s name still floating around trade chatter in Sabres Nation, Chris and Tyler discuss whether or not moving Kane in exchange for a defenseman serves Buffalo’s short and long term needs. Also on the program: the sudden trouble for the Islanders and Hurricanes and the new news on Vegas’ options at the trade deadline.

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Despite High Prices, Murray Hasn’t Harmed Buffalo’s Depth via Trade Market

Some of Buffalo’s struggles this season can be traced to their man games lost and the general lack of depth through the pipeline which enhanced the losses caused by various injuries.

That lack of depth has been pointed to as a side effect of Tim Murray’s efforts to add NHL talent to Buffalo roster. In some cases it’s being seen as a primary fault of the general manager. However, despite the number of bodies that moved out of the Sabres organization since last February, the overall impact those moves have had on the organization’s depth maybe isn’t as harmful as you may believe.

    This represents a general reflection of the organizational depth after the 2015 draft, it is not a direct representation of the roster in terms of lines, current performance or talent.
This represents a general reflection of the organizational depth after the 2015 draft, it is not a direct representation of the roster in terms of lines, current performance or talent.

In acquiring Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian, Ryan O’Reilly and Jamie McGinn, Murray surrendered a pair of draft picks (a first and second in the 2015 draft), Tyler Myers, Nikita Zadorov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Joel Armia, Brendan Lemieux and JT Compher. Drew Stafford was also part of the trade with Winnipeg but as a pending unrestricted free agent who appeared to have no future in Buffalo, it’s hard to count him as a direct loss due to those trades. Continue reading

Murray active in second deadline season

The 2014-15 trade deadline was much different for Tim Murray than the 2013-14 deadline when he was just a few months into his new job.

Entering last year’s deadline, Murray was tasked with finding a home for pending UFA goaltender Ryan Miller, pending UFA Steve Ott along with other pieces. Most notably, Matt Moulson, who was also set to enter free agency. deadline

Last year’s deadline saw Murray make four separate deals and acquire a total of six players and four draft picks. He also claimed Cory Conacher on waivers on deadline day. Murray was not facing the same steep challenge at this year’s deadline. He did not have a franchise talent like Miller to deal, while sporting three pending UFAs who held varying levels of average value. The deadline closed with the Sabres having made four trades (again) while acquiring a goaltender, a prospect and four picks.

You certainly can’t give Murray a strong grade for this year’s deadline alone. None of the four deals he made were blockbusters and he wasn’t dealing from a position of power like in 2014. However, looking at the big picture, Murray has positioned himself very well to take the next big step in the rebuild of the Sabres franchise. Continue reading