As the deep freeze in Buffalo continues, the hockey world is heating up. With the Buffalo Sabres in last place change is coming, and it's coming quick. With the NHL trade deadline Just five days away. Moves are bound to happen, the roster is split up in to two types of assets UFA'S and expendables.
*Miler and Ott have been traded since I wrote this post
The Big 3 UFA'S
Ryan miller, Steve Ott, and Matt Moulson deals all expire on July 1. These players all have substantial value as assets for GM Tim Murray. What it comes down to is as soon someone offers Murray what he wants he pulls the trigger.
Moulson - As a perineal thirty goal scorer, he is a guy ever team wants. Behind Ex Sabre Thomas Vanek, he is the best scorer on the block. Teams that are rumored to be the most interested in Moulson, are the L.A Kings and Tim Murray's old team the Ottawa Senators. Ideally you could get a top prospect, or a top pick in return. The Kings have two young prospects that the Sabres would be interested in, in Tyler Toffoli and Linden Vey. When it comes to Ottawa, you can look at Mika Zibanejad,or Cody Ceci.
Ott - Steve Ott may be the best rental to hit the trade market in years. He is a do it all player that could help any team. Every team in contention wants this guy. This could lead to a biding war, and the Sabres should be able to fetch a first round pick.
Miller - Ryan Miller is the biggest name on the market. This being said it makes trading him tricky. Tim Murray must find a balance between a meet able price and a respectable trade for the face of the franchise. The market for Miller is said to be soft right now, but as the deadline approaches and the price lowers many teams could get in on the sweepstakes. Former NHL GM Brain Lawson recently reported the Sabres are trying to sign Miller long term to trade him in a better market next season. This report does not make any sense, because the whole reason the Sabres are shopping Miller is he doesn't want to re-sign. Not many teams seem to be in on Miller, but some teams that would make sense are the Washington Capitals and the Minnesota Wild. Without a really solid market it is hard to determine what the return may be. A struggling goalie and a pick or prospect. A package that would be fitting from-the caps would be Brayden Holtby and a 2015 1st round pick.
These players are players who don't need to be moved, but them not fitting in a role makes them trade candidates in the Buffalo Sabres March 5 fire sale.
Tyler Ennis (RFA) or Cody Hodgson (6yrs) - Ennis is by no means a bad player, but he and Cody Hogdson are both undersized offensive center man. This making him a trade candidate. Hogdson has put up better numbers which makes me think they'd probably keep him over Ennis, but you never know how Tim Murray sees it. Ennis's RFA status also makes him easier to move then Hodgson 6 year big money deal. Either of these player could be apart of a bigger deal to acquire a player like Evader Kane.
Hendrick Talinder (UFA) - Talinders contract expires at the end of the year and it's highly unlikely he comes back for another season in the NHL. That being said I think the Sabres could fetch a mid-round conditional pick for him.
Drew Stafford (1yr) - Since being pick in the first round Drew Stafford has been one of the most streaky players in the league. He will score ten points in six game and then disappear. This being said he is on one of the ten points in six games streaks, and his trade value is about as high as will ever be. GM Tim Murray has no attachment to stafford which make it easy with in the organization to trade him. Stafford is not a big name, but he can score goals and these kind of player generally are over paid for around dead line time. Just last year the Capitals sent there top prospect for Martin Erat, who has not even scored ten goals for the Capitals. I doubt a heist that big could be pulled off, but a top 60 pick or a B level prospect could get the job done. Teams like Ottawa, Nashville, and Detroit could be in on a goal scorer with a year left on his contract.
Christian Ehrhoff (7yrs) - Ehrhoff has a lot of term left of his monster deal he signed three years ago. Although there is a lot of term left on his contract the cap is below four million, and even gets as low as 1 million and the end of the deal. That is a major bargain for a top four d-man who can also quarterback a power play. Almost any team can use a guy like this for a playoff run and years to come. The price is most likely high, but a team like The Blue Jackets coming off a draft in which they selected three player in the first round could offer a top prospect for Ehrhoff's services. Ehrhoff does have limited no trade clause witch entitles him to have list of 8 teams he would refuse a trade to. There are report that Ehrhoff has submitted this list to Tim Murray.
Tyler Myers(5yrs) - Tyler Myers is the most gifted player is the NHL. Myers stands 6 foot 8 which is just an inch shy of the leagues biggest player Zedano Chara. Although Myers is among the leagues biggest player he can skate like the wind. These qualities are what makes Myers trade value so high. Even though Myers play has declined since his Calder trophy winning season he still has very high trade value. Myers play decline has a lot to do with a lost of confidence. Trade in Myers might light a fire in his belly and lead him to become one of the leagues top d-men. This possibility has NHL coaches and GM's salivating a the though of what this guy could become. This Is why Myers trade value will be sky high and make it hard for GM to not put a big offer in on him. If a market forms for Myers you can expect a deal to come. If Myers is dealt it will most likely be the biggest deal on deadline day. Myers could be a center pice in a deal to acquire a young star in the NHL. If deal doesn't happen by the deadline a draft day blockbuster is not out of the question.
With all these players on the block It looks to be an exciting next four days in buffalo and league wide. The possibility of the face of the franchise and starting goalie, the captain, and the once considered corner stone play all moving on the same day. There is no doubt that March 5 will be the biggest day in Sabres history since the Turgeon, Lafontaine swap!