Buffalo Sabres Trade Rumors: Ryan O’Reilly Next Target


The Buffalo Sabres have long been interested in Ryan O’Reilly, I mean, who isn’t interested in a good hockey player that can make your team better right?  With Tim Murray recently pulling the trigger on a trade that brought the Buffalo Sabres Evander Kane, he might be ready to do it again to further make the Buffalo Sabres a contending team next season.

Pierre Lebrun stated last night on “Insider Trading” that the Buffalo Sabres are interested in acquiring Ryan O’Reilly from the Colorado Avalanche.  The Avalanche are currently sitting well behind in the Western Conference standings, a full nine points back for the final wild card spot.

The 2014-2015 NHL Season is likely over over the Avalanche, who would need to jump over the Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, and Los Angeles Kings, just to be considered a bubble team.   Not saying it couldn’t happen, but the odds are not the the Avalanche favor.

All things considered, the Colorado Avalanche are going to be asking for a big return for anyone looking to get Ryan O’Reilly out of the mile high hockey city.  Cost is of no object for Tim Murray, who has plenty of “money” in his wallet to spend when talking with fellow general managers.  Murray wasn’t afraid to overpay to make his team better in the Zach Bogosian/Kane trade, and he likely will do it again, to make sure that he is the team that people are talking about days after Ryan O’Reilly is no longer in Colorado.

Buffalo Sabres First Round Draft Pick

There is no conversation for Ryan O’Reilly without this being involved.  We are not talking about the Buffalo Sabres own first round draft pick, which will be either the number one or number two pick come draft lottery day, but the remaining late first round draft pick, which will either be the New York Islanders or St. Louis Blues draft pick.  The Sabres already have to give one of these picks to the Winnipeg Jets, so the remaining pick would go to the Colorado Avalanche.

Worried that the Buffalo Sabres need to draft twice in the first round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft this year?  They still have two selections in the second round and plenty of pieces to trade, if they had another guy targeted in the first round.  Maybe they don’t which would give Murray the latitude to just trade the picks away.

Buffalo Sabres Unrestricted Free Agent

Tim Murray isn’t going to make a trade that doesn’t involve eliminating an expiring contract from his roster.  If the Colorado Avalanche think they can resign Chris Stewart, then this might be the deal that Buffalo Sabres fans knew was ultimately coming.  This deal does not need involve Chris Stewart.

The Colorado Avalanche are short on defenseman, and could be interested in a guy like Andrej Meszaros, a bigger defenseman that is going to help them on the blue line in the tougher Western Conference.  An expiring contract in Colorado would mean a chance to play with a slightly better team, to improve overall numbers on what is about a 20 game training camp for UFAs at this point that will be hitting the market.

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Mikhail Grigorenko In Play?

The Buffalo Sabres are going to be faced with a tough decision come this off season when it comes to Mikhail Grigorenko.  With the emergence of Zemgus Girgensons, Sam Reinhart, and likely Jack Eichel or Connor McDavid, the cupboard is getting full – and the Buffalo Sabres could likely offer Grigorenko a change of scenery.

If Grigorenko is still miffed at the Buffalo Sabres organization for the tumultuous three years since the Buffalo Sabres drafted him, then here is the chance for both the team and the player to start with a clean slate.

You also still don’t know what type of NHL player Grigorenko is going to turn into.  He might turn out to be a better center than Ryan O’Reilly.  For the Buffalo Sabres immediate future however, O’Reilly is an instant upgrade for the team.

Buffalo Sabres Defensive Prospect/Player

There are several guys that are not likely to be traded.  Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov are not going anywhere.  Mark Pysyk is borderline untouchable in my opinion.

Less on the prospect side of things, you have players like Mike Weber and Tyson Strachan.

On the farm down in Rochester, there are plenty of defensive players that have found themselves deeper on the depth chart than they had likely hoped.  Chad Ruhwedel and Drew Bagnall could be interesting trade pieces for the Colorado Avalanche to consider.

The Buffalo Sabres have plenty of parts and pieces to offer the Colorado Avalanche for Ryan O’Reilly, and if Tim Murray wants the deal to be done, he will find away to make sure his deal is the one that the Avalanche can’t say no too.  With plenty of other teams supposedly in the mix in on the O’Reilly sweepstakes, overpaying could be worth it.

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