By Brandon J. Koch
While the team has not announced it yet, it’s reported that the Buffalo Sabres have made a trade to acquire winger Conor Sheary and defenseman Matt Hunwick from the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 2019 conditional 4th-round pick.
Jason Botterill is familiar with both players. Both fit with what he wants to do with this team.
Conor Sheary brings speed and production on the wing, something this team desperately needed, (and still needs). He scored 18 goals and put up 30 points last season.
His last three years in scoring chance percentage:
High scoring danger scoring chances:
Yes, he has played a lot with Sydney Crosby. Why is that significant? It tells us he can play with Jack Eichel and produce. Instead of having Jack play with Girgensons and Pominville, Housley can throw Sheary with Eichel and use their speed and play making.
At two years left with a $3 million dollar cap hit, Sheary is a nice value pickup for Botterill.
It’s going to be interesting what happens with Matt Hunwick.
Buyout? Trade? Rochester? As of now, the Sabres have 9 defenseman on the roster. There’s has to be more moves.
Hunwick brings what Housley wants in a defenseman:
Ability to push the pace and join the rush.
A reason that Hunwick could stick around is his leadership qualities. For a locker room that has had troubles, Hunwick brings a veteran presence. He was an alternate captain when he played for the Leafs.