There’s just two weeks until the NHL trade deadline, and we’ve already seen some big trades. Bo Horvat and Vladimir Tarasenko have already found new homes, but others have yet to have been moved. The Buffalo Sabres are fighting for a playoff spot and could be in the market to make a trade. They have a young team, great prospects, and a good amount of draft picks.
Could they package some of those together for a superstar? Will they stay quiet until the offseason? There are a lot of names rumored to be waiting for a new home. Could that new home be Buffalo? Here’s a look at potential trade candidates and how they would fit the team’s plans.
Potential Trade Targets for the Buffalo Sabres
Jakob Chychrun – Arizona Coyotes
The 24-year old defenseman has been rumored to be on the block for a while now. In fact, the Coyotes have made Chychrun a healthy scratch until a deal is made. He has a high asking price considering his age and contract – 2 years left at $4.6 million per year. He would be a fantastic upgrade for the Sabres, as he would be paired with Owen Power or Rasmus Dahlin.
The Buffalo Sabres have a ton of picks and prospects to give up, but would they want to? As they are on the outside looking in, it’s a question of if Buffalo would want to give up a big package. It would put them in a good position defensively for, at least, the next two years.
Timo Meier – San Jose Sharks
Arguably the #1 trade target for many Buffalo Sabres fans, Timo Meier is a dynamic player who would bring playmaking and goal scoring to the table. He would be a terrific pick-up for Buffalo, as he would be able to help a struggling powerplay. It would also be a boost to a top-6 that currently includes two rookie forwards — Jack Quinn & J.J. Peterka.
The only problem with trading for Meier would be his contract. He’ll be a free agent at the end of the year and is expected to demand ~$9 million per year, or more. While Buffalo can afford it, would they be willing to give up prospects, picks, and future cap space? They have the space, but that money can go fast. Especially with Rasmus Dahlin, Owen Power, and other Sabres needing an extension soon.
Tyler Bertuzzi – Detroit Red Wings
Bertuzzi is an interesting player when talking about potential trades. He would bring some grit to a young Sabres team. He’s coming off a 30 goal season, and has the ability to jump into the top-6 forward group. The tricky part of a Bertuzzi trade for the Buffalo Sabers would be his injury history and contract.
He is a free agent at the end of the year, and is expected to get around $5.5 million per year. That’s not a bad deal, especially for a Sabres team that has the money. It’s only a question of if he would want to be here and if he’d be expecting more.
However, the main issue with Bertuzzi is his injury history. He’s never played more than 73 games in a season, including three seasons under 50 games. He’s already been injured twice this season, missing 31 games. Would the Sabres be willing to trade for a player with that injury history? It would be a risk for a team that is slipping out of the playoff race.
Luke Schenn – Vancouver Canucks
With Vancouver selling and the Buffalo Sabres needing defensive help, Schenn is easy to put as a potential trade target. The 33-year old veteran is a pure defensive defenseman who would bring a physical game to the team. He’s on the last year of his deal and would most likely sign another team-friendly deal. Trading for Schenn would bring a veteran presence, and automatically become the oldest defenseman in Buffalo by ~5 years.
His age is a plus and minus for the Sabres. As mentioned, he’d bring the veteran presence, but would the Sabres want someone who will be 34 next season? This is a big question, especially if the asking price would be up to the value of a first-round pick.
Brock Boeser – Vancouver Canucks
The Buffalo Sabres’ fan favorite trade target is Brock Boeser, who just signed a three-year deal with an annual salary of $6.65 million. He’s a great offensive player who would be able to hop in the powerplay lines for the Sabres right away. He currently has 10 goals and 25 assists, for 35 points in 46 games this season. While the main problem for the team is defense, many want to see Boeser in blue and gold.
As a 25-year old, he’d be on track with the rest of the young players at the NHL level for the Sabres, as well. Boeser might be one of the easier players to get, as his asking price is around the value of a 2nd-round pick, or less, due to his salary.
Boeser is the key to many fans’ fantasies this trade deadline, and general manager Kevyn Adams has the assets to make it happen while not having to mortgage the future.
Ryan O’Reilly (St. Louis Blues), Matt Dumba (Minnesota Wild), Max Domi (Chicago Blackhawks), John Klingburg (Anaheim Ducks)