Reflecting on Some of the Most Noteworthy Trades in Sabres History

In 50 years of hockey, the Buffalo Sabres have swung their fair share of trades. From minor league swaps to marquee blockbusters, the club isn’t lacking when it comes to trade history.

Buffalo’s transaction history provides a beautiful cross section of NHL history. From the 70s and 80s eras where blockbusters came about regularly to the modern era where GMs are loathe to make any waves for fear of immediate retribution. In attempt to celebrate some of the club’s history, I ran down a list of some of the most noteworthy trades in franchise history. This isn’t a proper ranking or numbered list, nor is this meant to be a full accounting of every important trade in club history. Some of these trades in and of themselves are little more than blips on the radar, but they set the stage for bigger things down the road. Meanwhile, others are tried and true blockbusters, noteworthy for all the reasons you’d expect.

One thing that ties them all together is some sort of noteworthy feature or function, whether the inclusion of a franchise cornerstone or setting the wheels in motion for something bigger. Like laying the foundation to acquire a franchise cornerstone.

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Another Extension for the Rick Martin Trade Tree

Over 30 years have passed since Rick Martin was traded to Los Angeles on March 10, 1981 and there are trades being made today which can be traced directly back to that move and the trade of Don Edwards and Richie Dunn a little over a year later.

There’s little sign of this massive trade tree petering out any time soon as acquisitions of picks and prospects over the last couple of years will extend it’s life for at least five more seasons. If not more. The most recent, was the acquisition of Brandon Montour from the Anaheim Ducks. Acquired for Brendan Guhle and a conditional first round pick, the Sabres will part ways with one of the first round picks they acquired from either the San Jose Sharks or St. Louis Blues. Regardless of which pick the Ducks end up with, Montour will slot in as part of long list of players who can be traced back to Martin’s trade.

For those of you who are new to this image, a few quick notes:

  • All logos are era adjusted so stuff your whining about the Slug.
  • The logos next to each draft pick indicate which team ultimately selected that player. Many of the picks were dealt again so the logos are there to indicate the final destination of each pick.
  • This combines the Martin trade tree and Edwards trade tree due to where they overlap (Ryan Miller and Steve Ott going to St. Louis). That deal created a significant branch of the two trees so it made sense to combine the two. No other trade trees are included for the sake of clarity (whatever is left given how deep this goes). There are many other trade trees which intersect with this but including them all would make an already confusing document that much worse. To give some of examples, Craig Muni was acquired in a separate trade prior to being included in the Grosek/Shannon deal. Guhle was selected with a pick acquired in exchange for Thomas Vanek. Nikita Zadorov comes from the Jason Pominville trade tree. You can find other significant trade trees from throughout Sabres history with this link.
  • Feel free to air any other questions or areas of confusion in the comments or via Twitter.

Thomas Vanek Trade Tree Extended by Montour Trade

There’s not a whole lot to love about what came from the original trade of Thomas Vanek but Brandon Montour might finally change that. Brendan Guhle was pretty much the last remaining vestige of the original trade and there’s more life given to this trade tree’s longevity thanks to the acquisition of Montour.

 

 

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

Grading Tim Murray’s Trade History

Tim Murray has been uncharacteristically quiet on the trade front during offseason, only making three deals of note. His wheeling and dealing was less than what fans have become accustomed to and, most surprisingly, came with a fair bit of criticism.

As Murray has dealt away analytical all-star Mark Pysyk and failed to bring old friend Jhonas Enroth back via free agency, some fans have begun to question Murray’s acumen, and a few have gone so far as to call for his job. Evander Kane’s off-ice activity has also draw ire for the deal which brought the winger to Buffalo along with Zach Bogosian.

I think those calling for his job are in the minority, but in order to see if they have a legitimate bone to pick I’ve decided to grade every deal Murray has made since he began calling the shots in 2014 (with the help of nhltradetracker.com). It’s tough to grade some trades simply because the pieces that were acquired or dealt away aren’t finished products yet, but this will still show whether Murray has been able to get the better of his fellow GM’s, or if they’ve been able to take advantage of his aggressiveness. Continue reading