By Brandon J. Koch
The Buffalo Sabres have been playing better hockey this past month or so, but I don’t think that’s changing general manager Jason Botterill’s mind.
Trade chatter is starting to heat up with less than two months until the trade deadline and the Sabres are front and center of trade talks.
The question and most important question to ask and wonder about is what can the Sabres get back in trades?
Elliotte Friedman’s 31 thoughts had some interesting points.
More goal scorers on the Market?
Evander Kane was first at thought to be the lone goal scorer available on the trade market, Friedman says different:
“The market’s cracking open, though. There was a shortage of scoring touch with Vegas’s success, but now there’s Pacioretty, there’s Evander Kane, there’s Mike Hoffman What’s most interesting is that all three have different term remaining on their contracts. Kane’s unrestricted, Pacioretty’s got one year and Hoffman two. Curious to see how that affects each player’s value.”
There a couple things here that can hurt the Sabres, or it may not make a difference at all.
1. Term: Kane is a rental, he is a unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. Pacioretty still has one year left and Hoffman has 2.
2. More options: With more scoring options at better term left, will other teams that are interested in Evander Kane and not like Buffalo’s asking price, go a different route? Kane is a player that every team needs and wants and is different from Pacioretty and Hoffman, so its interesting to see what happens there.
Calls on other Sabres?
This has been for a while now, but it gets intriguing to me on who teams are calling for?
I’d have to imagine the asking price is pretty big, considering he is a minutes eating defenseman that can score. But isn’t that making more problems for Jason Botterill? Of course if teams are interested, he will listen, but your defenseman depth is weak. Would Botterill part ways with Risto? At the right price yes, I’d say unlikely.
The Sabres, you would think, get a lot back in a trade.
Sabres fans are hearing the change of scenery theory when it comes to Sam Reinhart. I’ll say this: I think Botterill likes Reinhart and doesn’t want to trade him and see him succeed somewhere else. Another part is Sam’s contract. He will be a free agent at the end of the season. What would he want in contract talks? He’s struggled this season but I would think $3-4 million dollars a year, maybe more.
I think a trade is unlikely, because he just got here, but stranger things have happened. I believe he’s a defenseman that Botterill and a Housley want to move forward with. That is, of course, a deal is there that can’t be refused.
Does Botterill see ROR as a cornerstone? I don’t know. I can’t see a trade. O’Reilly carries a big cap and term left, if he was to get traded, that’s a Summers worth of dealing.
Teams with a rich prospect pool
I first come to think about teams like Tampa Bay, St. Louis Blues. These teams aren’t afraid of giving up on 1st round picks. Both teams are loaded with prospects, especially at forward, where the Sabres have low depth.
There’s so much here to digest, but in all reality, some trades will happen. The Sabres have organizational depth problems and digging into other team’s prospects pools is the way to fix this.
But drafting well is key.
Happy New Year.