Whenever it comes to the NHL trade deadline in regards to the Buffalo Sabres we always discuss players who they’ll trade away. There’s no rule that says that while Jason Botterill will be a seller this season, that he can’t also make a trade to add players to the roster.
We usually don’t see big hockey trades around the deadline, but is has happened before. While some of these players really won’t be moved until the offseason. Here are some players you may want to familiarize yourself with that the Sabres should consider targeting by the 4 PM EST, February 26 deadline.
Jon Gillies | G - Calgary Flames
Pierre LeBrun of TSN reported that the Flames will consider listening to offers for the 24-year-old in exchange for improvement to their forward group. The 6’6” goaltender is an intriguing prospect and is playing pretty well for the Stockton Flames of the AHL. He has a 13-12-2 record with a .915 save percentage and 2.64 goals against average.
The future in Buffalo appears to belong to Linus Ullmark, but it doesn’t hurt to bolster the goalie pipeline. Both Chad Johnson and Robin Lehner could be gone at the end of the season. Leaving only Ullmark, Jonas Johansson and 2017 second-round pick Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen in the system.
Jordan Kyrou | F - St. Louis Blues
Kyrou is a player whose name has come up in conversations about a potential Evander Kane trade. The 2016 second-round pick is tearing it up in the OHL for the Sarnia Sting with 27 goals and 82 points in 41 games. Kyrou also increased his value with a strong tournament for Team Canada in the World Junior Championships.
TSN believes the possibility of Kyrou being used as trade bait enough to rank him 15 on their latest trade bait rankings.
Jordan Schmaltz | D - St. Louis Blues
Schmaltz is another guy that could be in the conversation as the prospect in a Kane trade with the Blues. The 2012 first-round pick has performed well in the AHL but hasn’t been able to stick with the big club. He’s played on 12 NHL games in parts of two seasons. He has an offensive upside from the blue line with 47 points in 72 games in the AHL over the last two seasons.
Mike Hoffman | F - Ottawa Senators
This is more of a long shot idea for a few reasons. First off, not sure the Senators would be that interested in the idea of trading Hoffman within the division. Secondly, Ottawa may be wavering on their desire to trade the 28-year-old winger. He’s played very well as of late and has found some chemistry with Matt Duchene.
Nonetheless, if he’s available the Sabres should at least kick the tires. He’s a speedy and highly skilled goal scorer that would fit nicely on Jack Eichel’s wing.
Justin Faulk, Noah Hanifin and Jaccob Slavin | D - Carolina Hurricanes
A lot of chatter has picked up again around the Hurricanes defense group. Head coach Bill Peters laid into his team after a 3-1 loss to the Sharks earlier this week. The Hurricanes need help offensively and may also just need to shake things up. They had a lot of high expectations heading into this season.
Kane has been tied to Carolina in trade rumors in the past. Would Kane alone get you one of these three defenders? Probably not. It’ll need to be some kind of hockey trade.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins | F - Edmonton Oilers
Things have not gone well this season for the Oilers with huge expectations entering the season. General manager Peter Chiarelli has a mess on his hands in Edmonton. Trading the top pick from 2011 draft may not be the best idea, but the team needs something to change. The 24-year-old has 31 points in 46 games this season.
Conventional wisdom tells you it may cost a lot to acquire Nugent-Hopkins. However, Chiarelli may be the worst general manager in the league and when you look at his recent trade history, maybe you can pull one over on him. A lineup of Nuge, Eichel and Ryan O’Reilly down the middle would be pretty nice.
Max Domi | F - Arizona Coyotes
I can’t for the life of me figure out why Coyotes general manager John Chayka would want to move Domi after a tough third season. He hasn’t produced at the level we saw in his rookie season where he scored 18 goals and registered 52 points. However, without an injury last season he was on a 12 goal and 56 points per 82 game pace. He’s a quick and talented player that is only 22-years-old.
That being said reports say he’s on the block and Botterill should at least place a phone call to see what the price would be.
Chris Tanev | D - Vancouver Canucks
I’ll admit I’m honestly not a huge fan of this idea. Tanev isn’t an offensive defender by any means. His career high in points is 20 back in the 2014-15 season. The 28-year-old has also battled injuries throughout his career. He’s only played 70 games or more once in his seven NHL seasons.
Outside of those concerns, Tanev is a solid defender. With Kane being tied to his hometown team Canucks in trade rumors. The Toronto native could be an option for the Sabres.
Any other players that you think the Sabres should be interested in?