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What Would It Cost For the Buffalo Sabres to Land the #1 Pick?

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After a disappointing season and with a rebuild on the horizon, Buffalo Sabres’ fans are desperate for their team to make a major move. That major move has to either come from the draft or free agency this summer. The Sabres won just enough games to take themselves out of the running for the first overall pick but fell just short of the playoffs. In order to make that splash in the 2013 draft the Sabres will need some help, and according to the latest rumour the Colorado Avalanche may be willing to help.

According to Buffalo Sabres scout Kevin Devin, the Buffalo Sabres and Colorado Avalanche have been in talks about the first overall pick in the draft:

“”We’ve had conversations with a lot of teams, including Colorado. I do think there’ll be some movement in those picks”. ~ Kevin Devine.

Now lots of teams like to make phone calls about the draft before the draft to see if their counterpart is willing to part ways with their pick, and the Avalanche will likely get 29 calls. But the Sabres have the perfect flexibility to get a deal done.

My colleague Cory Buck wrote about how the Sabres chances of landing a top 3 pick- let alone the first overall pick, are pretty slim. But as Sabres’ fans, nothing the team does should surprise us and you never know what Darcy Regier has up his sleeve.

In order to obtain the first overall pick from the Avalanche, the Sabres would need to offer up a monster of a deal. Since the team is talking rebuild, this would be the perfect opportunity for the Sabres to land that franchise player to build around, only problem is the Avalanche are also looking for a franchise player. The good news is that this years draft is flooded with talent; virtually anyone inside the 20 is a solid a pick.

Where the Sabres hold an advantage over other teams in the market for the first overall pick is the draft itself. In the 2013 NHL draft the Buffalo Sabres have 2 picks inside the top 20 and 4 picks inside the top 50, that’s a lot of picks to dangle in front of teams who are looking to add depth. Sure it’s the first overall pick, but if you had a chance to add two impact players a little lower down wouldn’t that also benefit your team?

There are two trade packages that the Sabres could send to the Avalanche; both of which are pretty massive. The packages centre around, as you may have guessed, Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek.

The first package would see the Sabres send Ryan Miller, Mark Pysyk and the 8th and 16th picks in the draft to the Avalanche. The Avalanche need a proven goaltender if they plan to get back into the playoff picture for next season; Semyon Varlamov just isn’t getting the job done. Miller is a proven NHL goalie that has won a Vezina, an Olympic silver medal and will win you 30 games a year. Having Miller between the pipes would put an end to the Avalanche’s goalie woes. Sending them Mark Pysyk and two picks in the first round give the Avalanche a chance to get exactly what they want; defencemen. The Avalanche would acquire a solid young defenceman in Pysyk who has honed his skills and is ready to step onto an NHL blue line and give them the chance to add two more solid defencemen in Darnell Nurse and Josh Morrissey. The Avalanche want defencemen, why not give them a chance to land 3 solid blue liners?

The second package get’s a little trickier. The Sabres would send veteran forward Thomas Vanek, rookie sensation Mikhail Grigorenko, Joel Armia, the 8th overall pick and a 2nd round pick. In addition to the numerous draft picks the Sabres have at their disposal, the Sabres have also built themselves a solid prospect pool. Sending Vanek is a no brainer; he wants to leave and would be a key player on any team. Giving up on Grigorenko hurts, but we haven’t seen anything from him yet to keep him when there’s an opportunity to improve. His former QMJHL coach Patrick Roy just got hired behind the bench in Colorado, why not reunite the two? Armia is still a question mark as he has yet to play in the NHL, but he’s a prospect with upside. The Avalanche would still be able to land their defence with the 8th pick and a second rounder.

Is there a chance that the Sabres can talk the Avalanche into parting their coveted first overall pick? Yes, but it’s slim and the Sabres may end up over paying. If Regier can coax away the first overall pick it’s likely going to involve giving up a lot and either of the packages listed above may not be enough. The draft is still 17 days away but for now Sabres’ fans can dream.

What do you think of the two packages? Too much or too little?

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Tags: 2013 Draft Buffalo Sabres Colorado Avalanche.

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