It was the biggest trade of the season. The Buffalo Sabres acquire Evander Kan and Zach Bogosian and college goaltender Jason Kasdorf from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, Joel Armia along with the rights to Brendan Lemieux and the latest of the Sabres 1st-round picks in the 2015 NHL draft.
This deal definitely counts as a blockbuster in today’s NHL, and fans on both sides are excited to see how this deal will affect their team. Kane and Myers needed a change of scenery, and with Bogosian being part of the deal, the Sabres still have a solid defenseman to lead the blue line. The Jets and Kane seemed to have had a falling out and getting a 1st-round pick along with the other assets will be good for them going forward.
So, can this deal get the ball rolling?
I sure hope that will be the case, because the trade deadline watch last season was painfully slow and you felt bad for the TSN guys on TV trying their hardest to make a program out of nothing. Although we probably will not see another blockbuster deal on trade deadline, it might force teams to be more active in the trade market leading up to the deadline on March 2.
In the shadow of the big deal today between the Sabres and the Jets, Dallas acquired Swedish goalie Jhonas Enroth from the Sabres in exchange for backup Anders Lindback and a conditional 3rd-round draft pick. Enroth is a huge improvement in net for the Stars and a tandem with Enroth and Kari Lehtonen looks really good on paper. Enroth might not have the best numbers this season, but he saved the Sabres from total humiliation on a number of occasions.
The Sabres are going hard for that bottom spot in the league and securing the Connor McDavid sweepstakes with getting Lindback, who has been unimpressive for a long time now.
Jaromir Jagr told media today that even though he’s not actively seeking a trade away from the New Jersey Devils, he would be alright with taking on a smaller role on a playoff team. Jagr is one potential target for a contender that needs some depth on the wing, and Jagr surely wants another crack at winning a Stanley Cup before he finally decides to retire.
Antoine Vermette (Arizona) is one of the most talked about centers on the market, and is pretty much seen as a goner come deadline. With rumors of several interested teams, it’s not surprising that the rumored asking price by the Coyotes is fairly high (1st-round pick and prospect). Vermette is a solid two-way center that is great in the face off circle, and he would be a great addition for any cup contender.
There were also reports out of Carolina that the Hurricanes had failed to reach an agreement on a contract extension with Andrej Sekera. The reports said that Sekera was looking for a contract in the $5.5 – 6 million per year range and that it was too much for the Canes. As a pending unrestricted free agent, it would really surprise me if Carolina doesn’t move him. The Los Angeles Kings and the Detroit Red Wings are two potential destinations for Sekera. The Kings needs a replacement for suspended Slava Voynov, and the Red Wings have been looking for reinforcements on the blue line for a long time now.
I love seeing all the rumors, but often they’re just that, rumors. But if we can get a proper wheeling and dealing month here before the deadline, I would be ecstatic. There’s a couple of teams that are going to be sellers (read Sabres, Coyotes, Oilers, Carolina and maybe even Colorado) and they all have a couple of potential trade baits.
So here’s to hoping for a flurry of trade activity for the rest of the month, and for the sake of the TSN guys, we ask the general managers to leave at least a couple of deals for deadline day.