In one of the most eventful trade deadlines in years, the Sabres made a pair of moves as they attempted to stay in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Jason Botterill acquired Wayne Simmonds and Dominik Kahun ahead of Monday’s deadline, picking up a rental and a potential long-term addition for his club. We discuss some of the larger moves made around the league on Monday along with what the larger implications are for the Sabres after acquiring Simmonds and Kahun.
Sabres trade deadline
Sabres at the Deadline: Time for the First Step
Jason Botterill and the Sabres have hit another deadline season no nearer to the playoffs that the year before. Once again, the Sabres aren’t quite sellers but they aren’t quite buyers either.
It’s been a rough season for the club, as a summer of anticipation over improving the forward corps came and went. The lack of action at the tail end of the summer carried all the way to January when Botterill finally acquired a forward, flipping a pick to Calgary for Michael Frolik.
That deal has played out about how you would have expected. Frolik has been forgettable during his time in Buffalo as he was a player better acquired in the wake of a larger acquisition. But instead of Frolik supplementing the roster after a move for a top six forward, he’s slotted into an already crowded and forgettable bottom six. That bottom six accounts for the list of deadline rentals the Sabres have to offer. Cheap rentals, but still rentals.
Frolik, along with Zemgus Girgensons, Johan Larsson, Conor Sheary and Jimmy Vesey are Buffalo’s pending unrestricted free agents. As a restricted free agent who previously requested a trade, Evan Rodrigues could still be on the move as well. Add in trade rumor regular Rasmus Ristolainen and Buffalo’s other defensemen, specifically Brandon Montour, Colin Miller and possibly Jake McCabe, Botterill could have a busy Monday. Continue reading
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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The Instigator Podcast 4.17 – Unwinding the Deadline
It was a slow deadline but a few interesting trades were made, including one by the Sabres. Chris and Tyler look back at today’s deadline and look forward from the Sabres perspective.
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.
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
The Instigator Podcast 4.14 – Resetting Expectations
Tyler and Chris discuss Buffalo’s 7-4 loss to the Panthers and whether or not their failure to climb out of the league basement should be the only barometer for success this season.
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.
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
Sabres trade bait powers team past Canucks
With precisely 20 games left on the schedule, the Sabres have worked their way deeper into the divide in the fanbase following a 6-3 triumph over the Vancouver Canucks.
Torrey Mitchell scored twice, Chris Stewart added a goal and an assist but most are left scratching their heads over where the tank stands and what to make of Buffalo’s recent string of hot play.
The Sabres capitalized, once again, on substandard goaltending as Eddie Lack turned in a .783 SV% on a night in which he was only tested 23 times. Tonight’s win marked the third time this season the Sabres managed to shoot better than 20% in a game – the other two coming against San Jose and Calgary. Lack was strong early in the game, getting hung out on an early two-on-one and getting some unwanted assistance from Adam Clendening on Stewart’s breakaway. But he made a few impressive stops, including a dazzling glove save on Cody Hodgson in the second.
The wheels fell off for the Canucks in the third as Andrej Meszaros cleaned up a sloppy no-look pass from Nick Bonino and put the puck through a screen for Buffalo’s third, while Mitchell cleaned up some garbage in front to put the Sabres ahead for good. Brian Flynn’s security marker at 18:28 came after Lack misplayed a loose puck badly and Stewart found Flynn to cash on the empty net. Continue reading