By Brandon J. Koch
Elliotte Friedman’s 31 thoughts is always a treat to read when he posts it on Twitter.
He has three thoughts on the Sabres:
13. Don’t ask about Jack Eichel. Other than that, the Buffalo Sabres are willing to listen. The price would be high for, say, a Sam Reinhart, a Rasmus Ristolainen or a Marco Scandella — but it doesn’t mean they won’t consider offers. What might happen, too, is general manager Jason Botterill waits the full season to evaluate some of those core pieces before deciding whether or not to move them. Apparently, the Sabres want to improve their quickness as much as their talent. They feel they are too slow, both with their feet and with their decision-making.
14. Obviously, Buffalo has rental options with Kane and Benoit Pouliot. Kane will be highly coveted, and potential pursuers say the Sabres are looking at the 2016 Andrew Ladd and 2017 Martin Hanzal trades as comparables. Ladd went from Winnipeg to Chicago for Marco Dano, a first-round selection and a conditional pick. Hanzal’s move from Arizona to Minnesota (with Ryan White) was for a first, a second and a fourth. The Sabres feel Kane is an even better option, so they will aim higher. Buffalo fans are hoping the winger brings back a stud defender, but it’s hard to see that for a rental.
15. There was a lot of discussion last week about Carey Price changing his equipment as he returned from injury. Buffalo’s Robin Lehner has done it twice. Lehner changed his gear during the summer, went back into the old stuff after some early struggles and returned to the newer items a couple of weeks ago.
Thoughts: I would feel better trading Kane and getting back the 2016-2017 trade rental returns. Of course teams won’t give a stud defenseman back in a trade. But you can’t lose Evander Kane for nothing. He will command from $7-8 million dollars a year on the free agent market come July 1st, in my opinion.
Botterill is smart, both on the hockey side and business side. I’m guessing there will be an amount of teams wanting Evander Kane for a cup run.