Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Jets and Sabres Bust a Block

2015 Season Cap Hit
To Winnipeg POS GP G A P 2015 2016
Tyler Myers D 47 4 9 13 $5.5 mil 4 years, $5.5 mil
Drew Stafford F 50 9 15 24 $4 mil UFA
Joel Armia F 1 0 0 0 $894,000 1 year, $894k
Brendan Lemieux F 0 0 0 0 Unsigned N/A
2015 1st Round Draft Pick
To Buffalo POS GP G A P 2015 2016
Evander Kane F 37 10 12 22 $5.25 mil 3 years, $5.25 mil
Zach Bogosian D 41 3 10 13 $5.1 mil 5 years, $5.1 mil
Jason Kasdorf G 0 0 0 0 Unsigned N/A

Ladies and gentlemen, there is a trade to be announced.

The Buffalo Sabres were the "winners" of the Evander Kane sweepstakes, picking up the disgruntled (and injured) forward, plus defenseman Zach Bogosian and an unsigned prospect in exchange for the oft-rumoured defenseman Tyler Myers, soon-to-be-UFA forward Drew Stafford, prospects Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux and one of the Sabres stored 1st round picks for June's entry draft.

There's no question that both of these teams had some things to address in the short and the long-term and for the most part, they were successful in doing so.

The Jets were able to off-load a whole lot of drama and a whole lot of cap space in a deal, where they pick up a defenseman with still a lot of upside in his potential, a flexible UFA winger, who can add depth to their playoff run, a couple of well-regarded prospects and a 1st round pick in a deep draft.  The Jets were looking to get full value out of Kane and when you throw Bogosian into the mix, you do get a pretty high end bit of talent going one way, so they were justified in looking to pick up some talent.

The Sabres did pay a high price, but for the amount of time that Myers spent on the rumour mill over the last couple of seasons, they were obviously looking to package him out of town and in getting a piece for the future, like Kane, they cracked an egg to get an omelette.

You can't say that the Sabres are kidding themselves about this season, as they were destined to be among the basement teams in their rebuilding year and they were a team that could definitely take on an injured body, since they didn't expect to win, rather they expected to be in the higher odds for the Connor McDavid/Jack Eichel lottery.  Saying that, if the Sabres were to win or place in the top two for the lottery, the odds of either Armia or Lemieux being a long-term solution seemed less likely, so they at least get a chance to spread their wings somewhere else.

It's unclear which 1st round draft pick that the Jets get, as the Sabres held their own, the Islanders' and the Blues' picks as well in the draft, thanks to other deals, but whether or not they get New York's or St. Louis', they'll come away well, according to most scouts.

ImplicationsOut of this deal, there are three players currently active in the pool. Myers belongs to Mike, Stafford belongs to Benson and Bogosian belongs to Wilton, none of which are really in the money hunt this season, but at least see their teams get a little more interesting to watch.

Wilton leads the three teams in the standings, sitting in 13th with 396 points, followed by Benson in 15th with 388 and then Mike brings up the rear with 365 points, down in 19th.  All three teams should feel confident enough to be out of the basement for the end of the year and I think this deal does help them to some degree.

If I had to offer my guess to who should have the bigger upside on this deal today, I would think it would be Stafford, since he'll jump into a system where he can be in the top six and given the time to score some goals.  Myers will be the new kid among a blueline, which has players that eat minutes in Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom, which you won't see them lose any time to a new guy, unless they share well.

Bogosian, who was a Week Eighteen Waiver Draft pick-up for Wilton, should be coming out on the harsher end of things, but that isn't a guarantee by any means, because as much as he is going to a worse team, he immediate walks in as the highest scoring blueliner in the 2015 season on the team.  He'll get minutes and he'll immediately help the Sabres, even though it may be a lost cause.

This is the kind of deal that makes the blog posts in the Summer more fun to write, speculating on next season!

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