On this day in 2015, the Buffalo Sabres and Winnipeg Jets made a “blockbuster” trade that involved eight different pieces, including a draft pick, a couple defenseman and an unsigned goaltender. Now, five years later, reflecting back on that trade, well....... things didn’t turn out so great for the Buffalo Sabres.
The complete details of that trade: the Sabres shipped out defenseman Tyler Myers, forward Drew Stafford, prospects Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux and a first-round draft pick. In exchange, Buffalo picked up forward Evander Kane, defenseman Zach Bogosian and goaltender Jason Kasdorf.
Five years later, let’s take a look at the pieces Buffalo picked up in the trade.
First and foremost: Evander Kane. Kane spent parts of three seasons with the Sabres from 2015 until his trade in 2018. He did well offensively in Buffalo, putting up 118 points in 176 games. However, his time in Buffalo was littered with mini-scandals, from the time he missed a practice after attending the NBA All-Star Game to his arrest in a harassment case at a local car.
The Sabres eventually sent Kane to the San Jose Sharks, in exchange for forward Danny O’Regan, a conditional first round pick in 2019 and a conditional fourth round pick in 2019. Today, Kane remains with the Sharks, and this season he’s put up 37 points in 53 games. Last season with San Jose was one of the best of his careers, as he accrued 56 points in 75 games.
Then there’s Zach Bogosian, who is, of course, still a member of the Sabres (though for how much longer, no one can be certain). Bogosian initially appeared to be a solid pickup but has been disappointing. His time in Buffalo has also been injury-laden, and particularly this season, he hasn’t done much good for the blue and gold. Since the 2015 trade, Bogosian has appeared in 243 games for the Sabres, averaging 21:20 and accruing 234 penalty minutes.
Jason Kasdorf didn’t turn into anything worthwhile for the Sabres, either. He played one NHL game with the club, spent parts of a few seasons in the ECHL (Elmira, then Cincinnati) and made a few brief appearances with the Rochester Americans. The 27-year-old spent last season overseas with the Lausitzer Foxes, and it appears he isn’t playing professionally at all this year.
In the end, not a great trade for the Sabres. If it’s any consolation, however, things didn’t pan out much better for the Jets, either.
Tyler Myers made a solid immediate impact in Winnipeg, but also eventually ran into injury trouble and even when healthy, didn’t put up great numbers given his hefty contract. His time with the Jets eventually ran out after 270 games there, during which he averaged 21:40 ice time. Now, Myers is suiting up for the Vancouver Canucks, a team that he signed a five-year deal with last summer.
Drew Stafford played part of three seasons with the Jets, but his age and contract meant things didn’t work out long-term with Winnipeg. After parts of the three seasons, the Jets sent Stafford to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a measly sixth-round draft pick, which speaks to his value at the time. After finishing out the season there, he played the next two seasons with the New Jersey Devils, but is not playing professionally this season.
Joel Armia never got a fair shake in his brief time in Buffalo, but was given much more of a chance on the Jets’ offense. He spent three seasons with Winnipeg, putting up 58 points in 179 games and playing an average of 13:18 per night. In 2018, Armia was shipped out to Montreal along with goaltender Steve Mason and a pair of draft picks. The Habs received defenseman Simon Bourque in return.
Armia remains with the Canadiens and has already surpassed his points total from last season, with 27 in just 45 games. He’s two points shy of matching his career-high (29), which was posted in the 2017-18 season with the Jets.
Brendan Lemieux spent part of two seasons with Winnipeg and has been with the New York Rangers since February 2019. He never played a game for the Sabres, and doesn’t seem to have been a big loss. Overall, he’s put up 21 points and accrued 133 penalty minutes in 62 games with the Rangers, while averaging 13:17 per night. (This is significantly higher than the ice time he got in Winnipeg, where he averaged just 7:30 per night.)
Winnipeg used the draft pick acquired in the trade to select center Jack Roslovic. Since 2016, he’s appeared in 166 games for the Jets, putting up 62 points (including 37 assists). This season, he’s averaging 14:55 per night and is 52.4% in the faceoff circle.
So, five years later - who won the trade? Well, one can argue that there was no true winner in the long-term. Almost all of the pieces on both sides have since moved on via free agency or been swapped out again via trade. The teams never got much of a long-term impact from any of those involved, and although there’s still some opportunity (Bogosian, Roslovic), it really didn’t out to be as spectacular of a trade as it initially appeared.