My apologies for the delay in not getting this article out quicker. My wisdom teeth were just removed in the hospital on Friday, and this is the first day where I can actually gather my thoughts without having to take breaks from the pain every five minutes.
Without further ado, below is a list of trades I believe the Sabres would be wise in making. There are no truth to these rumours, but I will say the players that I have included in the trades have been rumoured to be on the “trading block” at one point or another, and is not unrealistic to believe they could be moved at some point in the near future.
As always, I welcome all comments and feedback, and promise to respond to all of them. As you were.
Tampa Bay Lightning Buffalo Sabres
Malone FOR Sekera, McNabb
Analysis: This trade makes sense for a lot of reasons. As usual, and I will not stop repeating this until more is done to address the topic, the Sabres need more scoring power-forwards. I could not be more excited about Steve Ott and John Scott coming to town, but it is not enough. Malone fits the mold perfectly at 6 foot 4 and putting up 48 points in 68 games last year, when healthy, Malone is a versatile winger who goes to the dirty area’s, and is not a liability in the defensive zone. Tampa Bay went out and got Matt Carle, and Sami Salo this off-season. But with greying blueliners, Ohlund and Brewer also on the back-end, Tampa would be wise in getting younger at that position. Buffalo has just what they are looking for in McNabb and Sekera.
Florida Panthers Buffalo Sabres
Nothing FOR Nothing
Analysis: There are never many trade rumours in South Florida. Reviewing the depth chart, the Panthers don’t really have any Centres or Forwards for that matter worth pursuing. Kopecky, currently playing as a RW on the fourth line for the Cats, is the only realistic pick-up, but at $3 Million in salary, I don’t think many Sabres fans are interested in another Brad Boyes in the line-up. We all know how that worked out.
New Jersey Devils Buffalo Sabres
Elias FOR Adam, Enroth
Analysis: With Zach Parise gone, and loads of depth on defense, New Jersey doesn’t have many needs from which the Sabres can aid them with. That being said, I do believe these two teams could still work out a reasonable deal. If there is anything New Jersey needs, its an heir to Martin Brodeur for when he will likely retire after two more seasons. Jhonas Enroth may be the perfect solution. He has shown sparks of brilliance, in relief of Ryan Miller but still needs seasoning before he’s ready for full-time duty. 2 years is an appropriate window for that. Also, New Jersey does not have much depth up front, and Luke Adam could go a long way in filling out the bottom six. If the Sabres can’t land the highly contested Shane Doan, Patrick Elias would be a welcomed consolation, even though he has not been rumoured to be on the market as of yet.
New York Islanders Buffalo Sabres
Nino Niederreiter FOR Brayden McNabb
Analysis: With a large $2.8 Million price tag, Nino might be the most expensive 1 point player in the entire NHL. That being said, the Islanders inserted the 19 year old into an NHL lineup too early due to neccessity. The Sabres, not being quite as desperate as the Isles, would have the luxury of managing his maturity more properly. Niederrieter, not long ago, was one of the NHL’s most highly touted prospects, and the Sabres would be taking a chance on him, but I believe his ceiling is still quite high. The Isles are desperate for defense. Yes, they picked up Lubomir Visnovsky and Matt Carkner, but outside of there top three, there is not a lot of depth there. McNabb would be a perfect fit, would play many more minutes than on a crowded Sabres blueline, and both sides come out happy.
New York Rangers Buffalo Sabres
Analysis: Its funny, I had to delete this column because I began writing it a few nights ago, and the next day, one of the player’s I used was traded. Can you guess who it was? I had Drew Stafford for Brandon Dubinsky. I still think that this would have been a great swap. Guess we will never know.
Philadelphia Flyers Buffalo Sabres
Briere FOR McNabb, Sekera, 2nd rnd pick ’2013
Analysis: Does anybody else miss Danny Briere as much as I do? At 34 and a $6.5 Million cap hit, he’s still worth every penny in my opinion. Yes, critics will say he has been slowed by injuries, and its risky to give out that much salary to a 34 year old. But he still puts up 50+ points per year, will play on the PP, and scores the most critical of goals. Briere’s name has not been put on the market, but I would like to see the Sabres go after him as there no.1 Centre. As a result of not being able to acquire Shea Weber, Philly has an aging defense corps (Pronger, Timonen), that needs some youth. McNabb and Sekera can provide immediate help, while they could use the second round pick at the deep 2013 draft in New Jersey for just that as well. This would also free up more cap space for the Flyers to pursue some of the big fish still out there.
Pittsburgh Penguins Buffalo Sabres
Nothing FOR Nothing
Analysis: Unfortunately, there is nobody to realistically go after on this Penguins team. They have too much top-heavy talent up front, with an aging supporting cast that would be a waste of time for the Sabres to pursue.
* The below trades with the respective four teams are the least likely of any of the trades I’ve analyzed because GM’s don’t like to trade within their respective divisions, possibly helping out there rivals.
Boston Bruins Buffalo Sabres
Krejci FOR Stafford, Pardy, Leopold
Analysis: There has been a lot of talk lately of a Krejci deal, especially in rumours surrounding Bobby Ryan and the Anaheim Ducks. Boston could use more depth on defense, with the losses of depth defensemen, Joe Corvo, Greg Zanon, and Mike Motteau. Adam Pardy, and Jordan Leopold would go along way to filling that void. A scoring winger like Stafford would be a good consolation prize if they are unable to acquire Bobby Ryan. I don’t believe I have to convince many people that David Krejci and his $5.3 Million cap hit are exactly what the Sabres need as a No.1 Centre, having success playing that role in Boston over the past couple of years.
Montreal Canadiens Buffalo Sabres
Bourque, Weber FOR Stafford
Analysis: Bourque had a down year last year (26 pts in 74 gms), meaning it would be a great time for the Sabres to pick up the power forward when his stock couldn’t be much lower. Bourque, is surely a better player than his production indicates, and I believe he would fit in great to Lindy Ruff’s style of hockey. Yannick Weber has been a seventh D-man the last few years on the Habs blueline, and I would draw a lot of comparisons to Gragnani. Weber would purely be a depth defenseman playing mainly with the Amerks, but as we all learned from last year, you can never have enough defensive depth. Stafford would benefit from a change of scenery in Montreal, maybe the added pressure of playing for the Red, White, and Blue would be added motivation.
Ottawa Senators Buffalo Sabres
Nothing FOR Nothing
Analysis: The Sens have already loaded up on defense in Marc Methot, and Mike Lundin, to address the losses of Carkner, Gilroy, and Kuba, and with a lot of young depth up front, I can’t really see any sensible trades between the two teams.
Toronto Maple Leafs Buffalo Sabres
MacArthur, Kadri, Grabovski, Komisarek FOR Vanek, Sekera, Adam
Analysis: With the final trade, comes the biggest blockbuster yet. Leafs GM, Brian Burke is known for these franchise altering trades, while Sabres GM Darcy Regier, quite frankly is not. This being said, I have a difficult time seeing these two QEW rivals making a trade that could significantly improve each roster drastically. The Leafs, for the longest time have been looking for a franchise player to build around. Thomas Vanek would be just that. Andrej Sekera would fill in for the loss of Luke Schenn, contributing more points, and making fewer mistakes. Kadri and Adam are essentially swapped as two underperforming prospects who would benefit from a change of scenery. Komisarek would be coming over to the Sabres as essentially a salary dump, Grabovski would become the Sabres No. 1 Centre, and MacArthur would add to the Sabres scoring depth. I think this trade would look good for both sides, but like I said, its highly unlikely.
Hope all enjoyed this series. Tweet me @jords82 for any questions you may have, and don’t forget to contribute to the forum below! Cheers!
Topics: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Trades