The Sabres’ Trades Bring More Picks Than Players
Tim Murray shook up the franchise during the 2013-2014 trade deadline. Trading out fan favorites like Ott and Miller had fans crazy over his gutting of the team. This year there isn’t much of a team to gut, but GMTM still riled up Sabres loyalists with his deals.
No goalie is safe in Buffalo
After Murray traded Jhonas Enroth on February 11 to Dallas in exchange for Anders Lindback, Nolan rode Michael Neurvirth for all he was worth. Playing eight games in a row, Neuvirth brought the Sabres three wins and five respectable losses. All this hard work apparently upped his trade value.
Neuvirth was dealt to the New York Islanders in exchange for goalie Chad Johnson and a 3rd round pick in the 2016 draft. Johnson’s .889 save percentage is well below Neuvirth’s .918 SAV, giving the trade a lopsided effect on the current season. This deficit is likely to be compounded by Lindback’s .875 record.
New Faces, er, Face
The Sabres made a total of 4 trades at the deadline, but only picked up one new face besides Johnson. Jack Nevins, the now former Montreal Canadien forward, played his 32 games as part of the Hamilton Bulldogs. This pick up of an AHL player leaves a gaping hole where Torrey Mitchell used to be. Mitchell had been on a hot streak for the Sabres scoring three goals in the last two games with Buffalo.
Murray’s other two traded players were also on a run with the Sabres, as runs on the current team go.
Chris Stewart had 3 points in his last five games, including 2 goals. Stewart had been rumored to be trade material for most of the season, so his turning it on in the latter half of February isn’t a surprise. Brian Flynn will be carrying a recent goal into his new position with the Montreal Canadiens.
Surprisingly, both Flynn and Stewart were traded for only draft picks. The Habs gave up a 5th round pick in 2016 for Flynn, the Wild a 2nd round in 2017 for Stewart.
This year’s trade wrap up in Buffalo is a rather anti-climactic story. Excluding the pre-deadline deal with Winnipeg for Kane and Bogosian, the only new players are the call-ups from Rochester. Taking such a bite out of the Sabres’ bench depth has only stoked the ‘Tanking’ rumors. It’s also complicating life in Rochester as they call up players not only to replace the traded offensive players, but also to cover the recent injury to Zemgus Girgensons.
Here’s the complete trade rundown, including early deals.
- Tyler Myers (D), Drew Stafford (F), Joel Armia (AHL F), Brendan Lemieux (OHL F) and a 1st round 2015 draft pick to Winnipeg Jets for Evander Kane (F), Zach Bogosian (D), and Jason Kasdorf (NCAA G)
- Jhonas Enroth (G) to Dallas Stars for Anders Lindback (G) and a 3rd round 2015 draft pick.
- Brian Flynn (F) to Montreal Canadiens for a 5th round 2016 draft pick.
- Torrey Mitchell (F) to Montreal Canadiens for prospect Jack Nevins (AHL F) and a 7th round 2016 pick.
- Chris Stewart (F) to Minnesota Wild for 2nd round 2017 draft pick.
- Michael Neuvirth (G) to New York Islanders for Chad Johnson (G) and a 3rd round 2016 pick.
Total acquired AHL/NCAA players – 1
Total dealt AHL/OHL players – 2
Total acquired NHL players – 4
Total dealt NHL players – 7
Total net picks – 4