Well after my last blog about the Sabres the wheels have certainly come off the bus. Since the turn of the new year the Sabres have won just 2 out of 17 games and now find themselves 30 out of 30 team in the NHL standings, this also included a 14 game losing streak!
Yesterday finally saw GM Tim Murray announce a trade, which was then followed quickly by a 2nd trade.
In his press conference the GM was very open, as he always seems to be, something that I really like and something that is very good to see.
In fact he was so open that he freely admitted that he was ‘pissed off’ with the Sabres 14 game losing streak that sees them sit as the worst team in the NHL.
So at midday Murray announced that a trade had been made with the Winnipeg Jets.
On their way to the Jets are Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford along with prospects Joel Armia, Brendan Lemieux and a 1st round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Both Myers and Stafford have both been Sabres stalwarts for a long time, Myers though for me has not really show his real potential since 2009/10 when he won the Calder Trophy for the best NHL Rookie. His season stats show he has 4 Goals, 9 Assists but a +/- rating of -15 through 47 games this season.
Stafford, who’s been with the Sabres since 2004, for me has possibly been one of the Sabres most consistent performers despite picking up a couple of injuries. His leadership has also been very good and he has 9 Goals, 15 Assists with a +/- of -18 through 50 games so far this season. The other thing to note was that Stafford was an UFA in the summer so maybe the timing is spot on.
For me I think the timing of this trade is right, Sabres had to make a move and to get anywhere it was always going to be our better players that had to move. Despite giving away a 1st round pick we still actually have 2 more available so that doesn’t really hurt us.
With the prospects its hard to say whether its a good or bad move, both though are players I expect to have decent NHL careers but only time will tell if we have traded away potential superstars.
So in return for all this the Sabres will receive Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian and college prospect goalie Jason Kasdorf.
Kane though we won’t see until next season due to him requiring to go under the knife to repair a torn labrum.
The Jets had made it clear over the last week or so that they were listening to offers for Kane but I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted a trade this big.
In 37 games with the Jets this season Kane has scored 10 goals and has 12 assists with a +/- of just -1. With him being just 23 years of age it’s a really good fit with the Sabres and I will look forward to seeing in a Sabres Jersey for what could be an improved season next year.
Bogosian will however be on the ice in a Sabres jersey this season, he’s been a fair steady performer with the Jets with 3 goals and 10 assists in 41 outings so far. His +/- is also a nice +1, he is a good strong guy and will also play possible in all situations.
The final part of this trade will also see College prospect goalie Jason Kasdorf join the organisation and give us further depth at this position. Although not having any real standout superstar goalie we do seem to have plenty of potential depth at this position.
So overall, despite giving away a couple of our best players this trade has plenty of longer term benefits to the Sabres. Myers & Stafford have been great players for us and I’m sure the fans will give them a massive ovation when they return some day soon but in the mean time this is just another step in the rebuilding process.
GM Tim Murray is not afraid to make big trades after all he traded with the Blues last year when both Ryan Miller and Captain Steve Ott were traded for Jaroslav Halak, who was moved on straight away, and also Chris Stewart. Murray admitted in his press conference he’s very open that he will listen to any offers. Although there are some guys he doesn’t want to let move on!