Buffalo Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill had clearly indicated that he would only trade center Ryan O’Reilly for a king’s ransom and no less. The Montreal Canadiens and the St Louis Blues were rumored to be sniffing around but balked at the cost of what it would take, and likely the $7.5million bonus that he is due today.
So with just a couple of hours to go before midnight, the Blues finally blinked and gave in to GMBot’s demands, and what a haul he brought in considering the circumstances.
Also, the Blues pay his bonus.
1st 2019. 2nd 2021. Tage Thompson. Sobotka. Berglund. That is a major return for the Sabres. I get why the Blues did it, they add ROR and Bozak today and they're a better team. But given the midnight pressure to deal ROR, impressive by Jason Botterill— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 2, 2018
If you’re having a hard time digesting the magnitude of this deal, it’s basically this.
A late 1st. Likely a late 2nd. Two salary dumps and a decent prospect for O’Reilly. Good deal for both teams imo.— ️rock (@Brock_Seguin) July 2, 2018
The 2019 pick might be on the late side considering the Blues are loading up for a long playoff run, but it’s the kind of ammunition that can be used to climb up if needed.
O’Reilly has his fans in Buffalo who might feel he was railroaded out of town after making some frank and honest comments at the end of the last season, but there’s certainly no arguing that the Sabres have multiple needs and this ‘hockey trade’ certainly helps alleviate some of the woes experience last season.
Patrik Berglund is 30 and signed through to 2022 on a five-year-deal worth $3.85M AAV.
Vladimir Sobotka turns 31 tomorrow and is signed through to 2020 on a three-year-deal worth $3.5M AAV.
Tage Thompson is 20 and signed through to 2020 on a three-year entry level deal worth $1.14M AAV.
We’ll have more on the two veterans and the prospect soon, but for now here’s the quick analysis on Thompson.
Big and skilled, historically strong on PP. Excellent shot. I see him playing RW with the Sabres org. Still just 20 years old (2016 draft), needs to add a little more beef to his 6-foot-5 frame. Scored 33 goals in 70 NCAA games with UConn prior to first full pro season in 2017-18 https://t.co/XiTNDAqGOy— Kris Baker (@SabresProspects) July 2, 2018
Update - the 1st round pick is top-10-protected, additionally for those hoping for Robert Thomas, the Thompson choice was intentional.
More to come.
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