|2019 Season||July 1, 2019|
|Conditional 2019 1st Round Draft Pick|
The Buffalo Sabres started Sunday out of the playoffs, but the Anaheim Ducks are in selling mode, so it may not be as much of a deal that gets the Sabres back into the playoff race, more than it is finding a buyer for a 24-year old defenseman that is a pretty solid chunk against the salary cap.
The Sabres have picked up a player that could be a cornerstone piece in the future, building up their blueline, with a kid like Brandon Montour. Last season, he emerged onto the scene with 32 points and could just as easily get there again with a good finish to the season. The Sabres are still 6 points behind for the last wild card in the east and still have to get past Pittsburgh, but with this deal in tow, they'll give it a good college try.
At what cost though? Brandon Guhle is a bit younger and has been toiling in the Sabres system for a couple of years now, having brief cups of coffee with the Sabres in the past couple of seasons. He's still slated to have some upside, ranked among Buffalo's top prospects last summer. The Sabres also have given up a 1st round pick, which they potentially have three of them, depending on how the conditions go on a number of deals. The Ducks will have their pick, under certain conditions as well.
The Sabres do get a quality player, who is still only 24 years old, established in the league, for a couple of question marks, especially when it comes to the Sabres and their scouting ability, which has been questionable, at best. This looks expensive, but it could be a good bet.
This trade won't have much impact in the hockey pool, since Montour belongs to Mike's team and as much as he might have some gains, playing with a more confident Sabres team, Mike's team is now hanging on to a top 20 spot in the standings. Mike certainly shouldn't lose anything in this deal, but his team is now 7 points back down of 19th place and 25 clear of 21st.