A GM got what he wanted, cast off what he needed, and set the tome for everyone else to grab a lifejacket and ride his wake.
This is Tim “The Tank” Murray.
To recap the February 11, 2015 trade between Buffalo and Winnipeg
Buffalo Sabres acquire: F Evander Kane, D Zach Bogosian, G Jason Kasdorf
Winnipeg Jets acquire: D Tyler Myers, F Drew Stafford, F Joel Armia, F Brendan Lemieux, first-round pick (2015)
Many see this as GM Murray mailing in the rest of the 2014-15 season by reducing his number of healthy NHL bodies by one, and it’s tough to disprove that claim. Kane will not put a Sabres sweater on in a game situation until training camp. Murray also moved the top trade target among defensemen, Tyler Myers, as part of the package. Odd move as Myers had been linked to every Western conference team needing a right handed top-3 blueliner.
Early takes (and taeks) had Myers landing multiple high picks and/or top prospects and/or NHL roster players. Now he’s a throw-in piece to the end of a drama and the NHL defenseman brought back to Buffalo is widely regarded as in decline and not the player Myers is now. Poor Zach “The Olympian” Bogosian.
Drew Stafford becomes a solid depth forward for Winnipeg’s playoff push and depletes Buffalo’s forward corps. RPI goalie Jason Kasdorf has been labeled a “long shot” by Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff. *Whee*.
Not to let the irons cool, Buffalo did this:
Buffalo Sabres acquire: G Jhonas Enroth
Dallas Stars acquire: G Anders Lindback, conditional third-round pick (2016)
Buffalo’s defense is now lesser. They now lack two proven NHL forwards. The goaltending deck chairs have been shuffled from “Meh” to “Eh…oh boy”. The “Tank” has now sped up to “Sink like the damn BISMARCK” and there’s not much to stop them.
Ted Nolan encourages his players to play well enough to get traded. That’s a thing that happened by a professional adult. remember when he was the coaching solution on Long Island?
So how does this put Buffalo in a position of power? Simple, Buffalo is now the “best team available” for the right to choose Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel (right, Connor McDavid).
What’s overlooked is Murray has put himself in a position to direct his tank. He got what he wanted with time to spare, and devalued what he sent to Winnipeg. The roster will lose games and gain balls in the lotto but now he can state “I don’t really have to trade these fools, you make an offer for what you want” at the deadline. He doesn’t have to accept a pittance for the scraps and projects on his roster. The market for defensemen has now been reset to X-Men: DoFP level. Tyler Myers was an element to someone else’s trade, not the star of his own. If you though the price for Washington’s Mike Green, or a potential ex-Leaf like Cody Franson, now carries a huge price tag you might be sorely mistaken. If the biggest fish didn’t land the best platter, what hope does your asset hold?
If the complete opposite happens, and Mike Green lands three 1sts….then. pfft.
Buffalo holds their fail and rise in their own hands, and rearranged the market landscape. Way to go, Tim.