Five Friday Thoughts

photo via sportslogos.net

photo via sportslogos.net

1.    The Rangers are reportedly listening to offers for Rick Nash. Elliotte Friedman stated a team such as the Sabres could be a nice landing spot for Nash. The price will most likely be too high for Tim Murray’s liking and that is probably best for the Sabres. While Rick Nash is an NHL superstar, his age does not fit the Sabres timeline. Unless he can cruise through his 30s like Jarmoir Jagr, Teemu Selanne, or Marian Hossa (which I do not foresee), it is not a fit and not worth giving up valuable assets for. On a sidenote though, Murray does like Cam Talbot from the Rangers.

2.    The Sabres and Panthers could be trade partners on draft night. The Panthers hold the 11th pick in next week’s draft but do not have another selection until pick number 77. It might make sense for both teams if Florida shipped the 11th selection to Buffalo in exchange for the 21st and 31st. 

3.    With multiple teams fighting for cap space, offer sheets could be a ploy for pillaging teams. However, the Sabres should avoid trying to acquire a player by this method. The compensation of losing draft picks does not scare me, however taking on a heavy salary could cause problems down the road when Eichel, Reinhart, and Ristolainen all need substantial contracts. And in addition to that all reasonable offer sheets will be matched. The only way I see an offer sheet being valuable, is in an attempt to force a team to trade away another player (an example would be offer sheeting Tarasenko at a high price in order to make TJ Oshie expendable from the Blues).

4.    Three years from now the Sabres payroll is going to spike immensely-- somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 million dollars when Eichel and Reinhart’s rookie contracts expire and they will start earning significant money (also Evander Kane will due for a pay raise at this time if he pans out). The Sabres will have to budget accordingly for their 2018-19 season cap jump, which leads me to believe they will not sign any long-term, big money UFAs. 

What I am getting at though, is the next three seasons the Sabres will not be in cap danger. This could be an opportunity to take on some other teams cap problems in a trade in exchange for young players or future draft picks. One idea could be absorbing the contracts of David Legwand and Colin Greening as part of a trade involving Robin Lehner of the Senators. Another could be taking Marc Savard’s cap hit from the Bruins along with Malcolm Subban in exchange for the 51st pick. I would really like to see Tim Murray get creative with this.

5.    Speaking of the 51st pick and goaltenders… if Tim Murray holds onto the 51st pick, I expect him to take a goaltender in this slot. The top rated goaltender, Ilya Samsonov (Russia), will be off the board by then but if Mackenzie Blackwood (Barrie Colts, OHL) is still on the board, I do not see Murray passing on him. Blackwood has tremendous size at 6’4” 204 lbs, and fits Murray’s pedigree. Also Daniel Vladar (Czech) stands 6’5” and is a name to watch out for with this selection.