Red Wings @ Sabres Preview + Tyler Myers Trade Speculation

Last week, in an effort described by Ted Nolan as “lacking focus,” the Sabres fell to the New Jersey Devils by a score of 4 to 1. The losses may be piling up, which is great for the “tank” enthusiasts, but this game also marked the half way point in a Sabres season that has been fairly quiet in regards to trade rumors concerning this ailing team. Although the season is far away from the March 5th trade deadline, I am willing to entertain just about any trade ideas as playoff hungry teams look to improve their roster to make a push into the playoff picture. It also gives me something to follow when I can’t find any value in this second Murray “rebuild” season.

Tomorrow, the Sabres face a Detroit Red Wings team that holds the longest postseason appearance streak at 23 seasons. In fact, this streak is the longest active streak of any of the four major American professional sports leagues (NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB). Even though it looks as if the Red Wings will continue this streak, sitting at third place in the Atlantic Division, 6 points ahead of a sporadic Maple Leafs team that just relieved their head coach (Randy Carlyle) from his coaching duties, a trade rumor concerning the Red Wings and the Sabres resurfaced again.

The rumor, which was first reported by NHL on NBC insider Bob McKenzie back in early October, has found its way into the trade talk once again, a week before the Sabres face the Red Wings.

A week ago, the Twitter handle @HockeyyInsiderr had this to say:                    

“(The) #RedWings have an offer on the table for Myers as of today including a piece (the) #Sabres “really want” and that up until now was unavailable (continued) “Ball is in #Sabres court but I am told that the negotiations are getting very serious and the #RedWings really want Myers. More to come.”   

I can’t speak to the truth of this rumor, but I have the feeling that the trade rumor that surfaced in October has remained the same. In the proposed trade, the Sabres would be sending over their once deemed “franchise defenseman” (Tyler Myers) for Gustav Nyquist or a top prospect in Anthony Mantha.

                                                                                             Nyquist has 29 points in 42 games this season.  

                                                                                            Nyquist has 29 points in 42 games this season.  

Without Myers in the lineup, over a span of seven games, the Sabres went 1-5-1. Some people may say that this stat line only proves how valuable Myers truly is to Buffalo, but I say it proves his value on the trade block. If this trade were to transpire, Myers would most definitely beef up the Red Wings blue line presence, possibly playing amongst the names of Niklas Kronwall, Danny DeKeyser, and Kyle Quincey.

On the Sabres side, face it, they’re rebuilding. Looking at the defenseman coming through our system, I would not be afraid to ditch Myers and pick up some more offensive powers in the likes of Nyquist, if traded to the Sabres, would automatically become the lead scorer on this Sabres team with 26 points this year in 40 games played, second to Tyler Ennis who has 24 points in 40 games.

Looking at some of the Sabres prospects, this trade almost seems too enticing. The Sabres are building their defensive core, with Rasmus Ristolainen, Nikita Zadarov, and Mark Pysyk, and Jake McCabe. Zadarov has been seeing just as much ice time as Myers and Pysyk really shined in his most recent call up from the Amerks, scoring his first NHL goal and miraculously keeping an even plus minus in the four games that he was called up for.   

The “GEM” (Girgensons, Ennis, and Moulson) line has been a lot of fun to watch, but I am also thinking about the future after watching Sam Reinhart’s performance in the WJC for Team Canada. With Reinhart, and even Torrey Mitchell potentially playing a major role on the Sabres, they will eventually need some stronger scoring support to play next to (cough, cough Cody Hodgson).

And for people that are following the “tank” progression, this trade would provide even more fuel to the fire. The Oilers, who sit at last in the league standings, just traded away David Perron who scored career-high 28 goals for Edmonton last year. With that trade, it’s becoming even more evident that Edmonton is in “tank mode” for McEichel rights.