For much of the weekend, Buffalo Sabres fans have watched team after team make trades, while Sabres GM Tim Murray patiently waited to deal impending free agents such as Jamie McGinn, Chad Johnson, and Carlo Colaiacovo.
Your wait is now over, Sabres fans, as Murray has completed a blockbuster, seven player deal with the Ottawa Senators. The only thing is, the trade is solely for AHL players.
The Sabres have acquired forwards Cole Schneider, Alex Guptill, and Eric O'Dell, and defenseman Michael Sdao, all of whom play for Ottawa's AHL affiliate. In return, the Sabres have sent Jason Akeson, Phil Varone, and defenseman Jerome Leduc. Should Schneider play three games in the NHL this season, the Sabres will also send Ottawa their seventh round pick.
It's an interesting AHL trade, as both teams are trading their two leading scorers - Schneider and O'Dell for Binghamton and Varone and Akeson for the Amerks - and seems like two GMs who simply want to shake up their AHL rosters, as none of the players acquired by Buffalo have spent any time in the NHL.
The interesting part of the deal for Buffalo is Cole Schneider. The 25-year old winger is a native of Williamsville, NY, and returns to his hometown organization after being signed as a free agent acquisition by Ottawa in 2012. According to Matthew Coller of WGR, Schneider has enough offensive talent that he might have a chance to actually play for the Sabres, which would make this a great deal for Buffalo, as none of the three guys they sent away were ever going to see NHL action.
For the Sens, Jason Akeson is an Ottawa native.
The Sabres wave goodbye to Phil Varone, who has been one of the team's first call-ups in recent seasons, as well as Jerome Leduc, who never quite lived up to the offensive or defensive potential that the Sabres hoped for when they drafted him.
Some have speculated that this deal could be GMTM acquiring a prospect that he (or another GM) likes, or tat it was made to help the Amerks with their too-many-veterans problem. Either way, hopefully slightly bigger deals for the NHL club are on the horizon.