Since the end of the 2013 NHL season, Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier has stated his desire to move up in the draft. Yesterday, however, Regier changed his tone, saying that moving up to one of the top picks would be "extremely difficult, if not impossible".
Still, the thought of a top pick such as Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon, or Jonathan Drouin dressed in blue and gold remains tantalizing. But what would one of those players cost Buffalo in terms of picks or prospects?
We decided to ask our fellow bloggers at Mile High Hockey, Litter Box Cats, and Raw Charge to get their perspective on what the Avalanche, Panthers, or Lightning might be looking for. Here are their responses.
Cheryl Bradley, Mile High Hockey
To get that #1 pick, a team is gonna have to seriously overpay. Roy and Sakic have made that abundantly clear. Here are the two deals that have gotten any positive interest among MHHers:Myers + #8 + #16 + ’14 1st + Hodgson for #1 overall + Stastny
Vanek + Myers + Grigorenko + #8 + #16 for #1 overall + Jones
Ridiculous overpayment? Yup. That's what it will take, though.
Donny Rivette, Litter Box Cats
As is standard procedure out of One Panther Parkway, the Cats have unsurprisingly made no comment whatsoever to tip their hand, which is no different than anyone else involved with the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Even unofficially, there is simply nothing to report, be it rumors of substance or leaks; an amazing stretch of silence which has been Florida's modis operandi reaching far earlier than the current administration of Dale Tallon, and that's just fine, and likely as it should be.Any case, it will take a very significant offer to get Tallon, Inc. into "buyers" mode. All that really matters is where the team currently stands: are the Cats a few pieces away from legitimacy, or - yet another - rebuild away from the same? One of the top-two selections will define that question down the road. As a fan I'm personally opposed to selling the pick, but always open to discussion.
John Fontana, Raw Charge
Out of Colorado, Florida and Tampa Bay, I personally think Tampa Bay is the most ideal target for a team to speak to about a trade. Florida was exposed last season as needing more at just about every position, while Colorado under its new regime is intimidating to deal with (what kind of ransom would they want for the #1 pick). I don’t think either of those teams are going to move off the #1 and #2 picks and the potential franchise players they have their sights on.
The Bolts? I can’t try to play down a horrible season in Tampa Bay, but I can tell you that I don’t think the franchise is locked in on obtaining the left-over of Jones, Mackinnon or Drouin.
But what would it cost to move up? From my speculation with my friend in Calgary, I had considered two of the first round picks… and more. "More" likely being draft pick swaps between the two orgs.
I know some people look at trade possibilities and start thinking about moving players to obtain draft picks, but that’s a complication, as contracts need to be swapped.
In Buffalo’s case, #8 and #16 would have to be starting points, while throwing in a second and third moves things closer to the goal.
So what do you think, Sabres fans? Anyone still willing to pay the price to move up to the top 3? Let's hear it in the comments.