NHL Trade Deadline: 5 Deals The Buffalo Sabres Must Consider
5 Deals The Buffalo Sabres Must Consider
Through 57 games this season, the Buffalo Sabres currently sit at 15-34-8. This gives the Sabres a total of 38 points, which is good enough for last place in the Atlantic Division, and the worst record in the entire NHL.
This season has been a disappointment for the Sabres in terms of wins and losses, but the future is bright for the team if they continue to rebuild and stockpile young talent. In order for the Sabres to do this, they need to trade away their veteran players for young prospects and or high draft picks, depending on the circumstance. Newly appointed general manager Tim Murray will have his hands full for the next couple of weeks, and the moves made could either make or break the franchise.
Ryan Miller is one of the best goalies in the entire hockey league, and is in his last year of his contract. He has made it very clear that he wants to go to a team that is competitive and capable of winning a Stanley Cup. Murray is aware of this predicament and will do his best to trade him before the March 5 deadline.
Along with Miller, the names Matt Moulson, Steve Ott and Henirk Tallinder have all been mentioned in possible trades.
This slideshow will examine the all four of these players, and determine what the Sabres should do with them and what they should look for in terms of compensation. One thing is for certain, the Sabres will very active before the March 5 trade deadline expires.
5. Trade Matt Moulson
Matt Moulson is a terrific hockey player that goes to the dirty areas and possess a wicked wrist shot. He is a consistent 30 goal scorer in the league and will be on many teams' radar come March 5.
Many Sabres fans have grown to love Moulson and his style of play, which is understandable. That being said, Moulson is on the last year of his current contract and will be looking to sign a long-term deal in the offseason. Moulson will not be the difference maker the Sabres need to get back to winning, and Murray will not be able to re-sign him after the season ends. As a result, the team should look to trade Moulson, and teams that should be interested include the Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Boston Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Whichever team offers the best combination of picks and prospects will land Moulson at the deadline.
In my opinion, he is worth a minimum of a first round pick and could bring back a second round pick or prospect as well. I predict that the Wild has the best chance of landing him.
4. Trade Steve Ott
Steve Ott is a leader for a young, fragile Buffalo Sabres team that does all the little things well. Ott hits, stands up for teammates, draws penalties, and can even provide offense when asked too.
Tim Murray will get offers for Ott from teams looking to add a little toughness and size to their roster for the playoffs. I could see the Chicago Blackhawks, the San Jose Sharks, the Carolina Hurricanes and other teams getting into the mix for Ott, depending on the price being asked.
In my eyes, Ott is worth a second round pick and a decent prospect. I believe that the team that will likely snag him would be the Hurricanes, because they could use depth up the middle. I will not count out the BlackHawks though.
3. Trade Henrik Tallinder
Henrik Tallinder is an average defensmen that could be a nice addition for a team looking for depth at the blue line.
Tallinder is a UFA at the end of the year and doesn't fit into the mold of the Sabres' future. The Sabres would be wise to move Tallider as soon as possible and allow some of their younger players to come up to get some professional hockey experience before the season ends.
Tallinder is not a great player, but I could see a team offering a third or fourth round pick for him, which would give Murray another one to use to help rebuild. The Anaeheim Ducks should be in the mix for Tallinder, along with other Western Conference teams such as the Detroit Red Wings.
2. Trade Ryan Miller
It is time for the Sabres and Ryan Miller to part ways.
Miller has been the face of the franchise for many years, but it is time for him to leave and finish his career with a team that has a chance to win meaningful games. Tim Murray would be wise to not overplay Miller once the season starts back up, in order to insure he does not get hurt. At age 33, Miller is no spring chicken anymore and it is time to see what Jonas Enroth is capable of full time.
Miller will get interest from teams such as the Washington Capitals, St. Louis Blues and maybe the Minnesotta Wild. The Capitals makes the most sense to me, unless the Blues are willing to part ways with Jaroslav Halak, Vladimir Tarasenko and a first round pick, which is highly unlikely. The Capitals will be willing to trade a first round pick, a second round pick and two prospects. I think and the Sabres would jump at that opportunity in a heart beat.
1. Re-Sign Ted Nolan
You look at the record and are shocked by this title, but Ted Nolan is the only reason this team has more than 10 wins.
Nolan took over midseason and has inspired the team to play hard and with an edge. He is a stern individual that can teach young players the fundamentals and discipline required to be successful in the NHL. I think Murray should give Nolan some job security and see what he can do next year for the young hockey club. I am not saying sign him long-term, but give a full season to implement his system and see how the team responds. The Sabres could have find diamond in the rough when they brought back Nolan.