By Brandon J. Koch
There have been the summer rumblings from NHL insiders that the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes have mutual interest.
There are two players that reportedly started this interest. It would be defenseman Noah Hanifin for Buffalo and Center Ryan O’Reilly for Carolina.
It certainly makes sense for Carolina to want ROR, he can finally be the man there, something he’s always wanted.
But for the Sabres, is Hanifin really a need? Let’s take a look at reasons why the Sabres should be looking at another Hurricane.
Loaded defense core: With Rasmus Dahlin undoubtedly being drafted by the Sabres later this month, the Sabres are crowded at defense. This including the team not having any interest in moving Rasmus Ristolanen. So why trade for another defensemen? Counting Risto, Botterill has: Guhle, Nelson, Dahlin, Scandella, McCabe and Bogosian, who Housley has raved about. It doesn’t make sense to trade for Hanifin unless other pieces are moving out.
Skinner is who the Sabres need: It’s true. The Sabres are desperately in need of speed on the wing, as well as scoring. Skinner provides both, a perfect Botterill- Housley fit. He had 24 goals and 49 points last season on a struggling Hurricanes team. Skinner provides a replacement for the void that Evander Kane made when he was traded here. Of course two different players, but both scorers.
Sabres will be able to afford it: Starting next offseason, some contracts come off the books. Matt Moulson and Jason Pominville as the biggest two. That includes hopefully a roster move or two from this offseason.
While it’s unlikely Skinner is traded here, nobody can deny that he’s the player the Sabres should be actually targeting. He’s what they’re missing and need.