Jordan Leopold? Gone. Robyn Regehr? Outta here.
So who will be next for the Buffalo Sabres? That is the million dollar question as the countdown to the trade deadline nears the 24-hour mark.
With Derek Roy off to the Vancouver Canucks and Jaromir Jagr shipping up to Boston Bruins to help the power play, the collective eyes of the hockey world seem to be focused on the Ryane Clowe saga and just how many of the Sabres’ big three will be traded.
Of those three – Thomas Vanek, Ryan Miller and Jason Pominville – it seems Pominville has the best chance to be moved as he was asked to submit his list of eight teams he would not like to be traded to last night. While that may not be dis-positive in and of itself, it shows that other general managers are at least kicking the tires when it comes to the Sabres’ captain.
Pominville should likely command at least a first-round pick and a prospect, but it’s likely the Sabres’ GM Darcy Regier is asking for a lot more at this moment. Call it the “captain premium.”
According to the Fourth Period, the Philadelphia Flyers have inquired about Thomas Vanek, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on this one if I were you. Vanek’s price is likely to be prohibitively high if a team were looking to get back into the playoff race. The Flyers would likely have to give up one or two top young players (think Sean Couturier, Matt Read or Wayne Simmonds) on top of their first-round pick, which has an excellent chance of being a lottery pick. Essentially, Vanek’s price would be comparable to that of Rick Nash’s last season.
The last big target on the Sabres is Miller, who reportedly doesn’t know where he’ll be after tomorrow’s deadline. His price is likely to be incredibly high as well, so all of those thinking that the Chicago Blackhawks or any other contender would give up what it’d take to land him are dreaming. It seems that Miller, much like Vanek, will at least see the off-season in a Sabres uniform.
Drew Stafford has also been linked to the trade market for a few weeks, but exactly what his price would be is unclear. Given the prices paid for Jarome Iginla and Jaromir Jagr, expect Stafford to net a mid-level prospect and/or a mid-round pick at the most.
With all of these moves potentially on the horizon, the Sabres seem to be more in the hunt for the likes of Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon, Aleksander Barkov or Jonathan Drouin than the playoffs. Regardless, this could be a very, very different team come next October.
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