Tag: Buffalo Sabres


Ducks ‘pretty adamant about trying to add another d-man,’ says Ducks d-man


We’ve talked plenty about Anaheim’s desire to add a defenseman — see here and here and here — and now, following a stretch in which the Ducks have surrendered 30 goals in seven games, it seems those talks have trickled down to the players.

Like defenseman Cam Fowler, for example.

“[GM Bob Murray] has been pretty adamant about trying to add another d-man,” Fowler told the L.A. (which stands for Los Angeles) Times this week. “We feel comfortable with the group we have, but if there’s somebody who can be brought in to help us, that’s always good too.”

Murray’s been in search of defensive fixes for a while now, and has done some previous patchwork: Eric Brewer was acquired from Tampa Bay in November, and Stephane Robidas was acquired at last year’s deadline.

That said, both of those deals were of the low-risk, low-cost variety. Robidas, 37, came on board for the price of a fourth-round pick and played just 17 games (14 regular season, three playoff) before leaving in free agency. Brewer, 35, could end up much the same; he’s a UFA at season’s end and has only appeared in six games after breaking his foot shortly after being acquired.

But neither Robidas nor Brewer moved the needle much. One would think Murray wants to make a bigger splash this time around.

Whether or not he can make one, though, remains to be seen. Tyler Myers is off the board following Wednesday’s blockbuster move to Winnipeg and, as we’ve often seen come deadline day, there are more teams interested in capable defensemen than there are capable defensemen.

The Ducks could be in on Marc Methot. They could be in on Cody Franson. They could be in on Mike Green — assuming the playoff-bound Caps decide to move him — but Anaheim won’t be alone in any of these pursuits. Which begs two questions: 1) How much does Murray believe in a blueline featuring a top-four of Fowler, Francois Beauchemin, Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen? And 2) If he doesn’t believe in it enough, how much is he willing to spend on a legitimate upgrade?

Video: McKenzie breaks down Wednesday’s deal between the Jets and Sabres

Winnipeg Jets v Calgary Flames

Hockey insider Bob McKenzie breaks down Wednesday’s blockbuster deal between the Sabres and Jets, which saw Evander Kane go from Winnipeg to Buffalo in a multi-player trade.

McKenzie breaks down why the Jets won the trade while assessing the risk Buffalo general manager Tim Murray acquired in Kane.

Related: Sabres’ Kane: ‘I’m definitely glad to be moving on’

Sabres’ Kane: ‘I’m definitely glad to be moving on’

Winnipeg Jets v Pittsburgh Penguins

Its been a crazy eight days for the newest member of the Buffalo Sabres.

It all began on Feb. 3 when Evander Kane was a healthy scratch as the Winnipeg Jets visited the Vancouver Canucks. It concluded Wednesday afternoon when the 23-year-old was dealt to Buffalo in a multi-player trade.

Speaking to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, Kane says he’s looking forward to moving on.

“There’s definitely a lot more to it than some of the funny story lines that came out,” said Kane. “Sometimes you have to just let a story die and I guess that’s what we’ll do. But it was definitely disappointing with how everything shook out and some of the information was misconstrued, misleading, some of the facts kind of came out wrong or didn’t come out at all. That’s to be expected.

“But I’m definitely glad to be moving on and I’m going to have a fresh start with a new team. I’m looking forward to the future for sure.”

One of the things that rubbed Kane the wrong way is the notion he elected to have surgery on his shoulder when he could’ve waited until the season was over.

“I had it [shoulder injury] last year and it got worse over the last two months,” Kane said. “And actually, when they went in there to do the surgery, they found a hole in my shoulder as well and some other things they had to fix. It was a little more complicated than everyone thought at first, so it’s really good we got it fixed now.

“That some people thought I was having surgery just to end my season, that’s so not true. That’s the biggest thing I want to make clear.”

Kane said the pain reached a point last week where could no longer play through it.

“It’s just common sense that I would have wanted to play in my hometown in front of friends and family where I know everyone has tickets to the game,” said Kane, who played through a fracture ankle and a fractured hand this season. “Of course I would have wanted to. But unfortunately, it comes to a point where you just can’t do it anymore because of the things I was going through. I couldn’t do what I needed to do out there. It (his shoulder) would come out twice in a period, once a period, sometimes it wouldn’t come out. It was tough to judge and get a feel for it.”

In the second game following the All-Star Break, a loss in Philadelphia on Jan. 29, Kane’s shoulder problems worsened.

“It came out twice in the third period and it just became harder and harder to continue. It was getting worse. I didn’t want to put myself in a situation where it would become possibly career-threatening or maybe not be able to recover fully.”

As for the tracksuit incident with teammate Dustin Byfuglien, Kane said he had no real issue with it.

“I’m actually one of the guys that doesn’t mind that kind of stuff, to be honest,” he said. “That’s kind of a funny part for me hearing all this. I’m a pretty tough guy mentally and physically. I think if people thought it was just about that, that’s fine. That gives me a pretty good laugh.”

Kane spent six seasons with the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise scoring 109 goals and 222 points in 361 games.

He’s excited for the fresh start Buffalo presents.

“Once I talked to [Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray] and talked to my agent [Craig Oster of Newport Sports], there’s a lot of excitement for the future in Buffalo,” said Kane. “Just looking at next year, they’re going to get a top pick and that’s exciting. Just to have one of those two guys maybe to play with next year, plus the other young players on that team.

“The sense I got from Buffalo is that, yes they’re rebuilding but they’re not going to sit around and wait. They’re looking to do something now. It’s nice to go somewhere where you feel wanted and you feel that they want to put you in a situation to have success.”

Trade: Stars get new backup goalie, acquire Enroth from Sabres

Buffalo Sabres v Washington Capitals

It seems like only yesterday we were talking about how the Dallas Stars’ poor goaltending was costing them valuable points in the standings.

Oh wait, it totally was! And today, they did something about it, acquiring Jhonas Enroth in a trade with Buffalo, as first reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

The Sabres will receive goalie Anders Lindback and a conditional third-round pick (2016) in return.

Enroth is a pending unrestricted free agent with a .903 save percentage in 37 appearances for the Sabres this season.  While those numbers are far from great, they’re at least better than the ones belonging to Lindback (2-8-0, .875), who struggled mightily as Kari Lehtonen’s backup before he was dealt away.

“Jhonas is an extremely instinctive, experienced goaltender and head coach Lindy Ruff has a familiarity with his game,” said Dallas GM Jim Nill in a release.

“Going down the stretch, where we have five more back-to-back situations, it was important for us to have a game-tested goaltender to help balance the workload.”

Enroth could receive his first start for his new team soon, as the Stars have back-to-back games Friday and Saturday versus Florida and in Colorado, respectively.

Like Enroth, Lindback is also a pending UFA.

Related: Stars are concerned about backup Lindback

Can Myers realize ‘huge upside’? What does the future hold for Byfuglien?

Winnipeg Jets v Buffalo Sabres

Tyler Myers was finally traded today. Nobody can say it was a shock, as he’d been rumored to be moving on from Buffalo for quite some time.

In Winnipeg, the former Calder Trophy winner will join a defense corps that’s significantly deeper, more experienced and — let’s face it — just a whole lot better than the one he left in Buffalo.

Though the Jets had to give up Zach Bogosian in the multi-player deal with the Sabres, they were still left with d-men Jacob Trouba, Tobias Enstrom, Dustin Byfuglien, and others.

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is confident that Myers will thrive in his new setting and believes the player has “huge upside.”

Time will tell whether Cheveldayoff is proven right. Myers, 25, has had his struggles with the Sabres. But then again, who hasn’t? In Winnipeg, he’ll have better teammates, he won’t have to play as much, and he’ll likely face easier competition.

Heck, right-shooting Myers may actually start on the Jets’ third pairing, with Trouba and Byfuglien playing the right side on the first two pairs.

Which brings us to Byfuglien. The plan for now is to move him back to defense, though that could change depending how the forward group, including new winger Drew Stafford, fares without him.

Long term, the future for Byfuglien in Winnipeg remains cloudy. The 29-year-old is signed through next season, after which he can become an unrestricted free agent. Will the Jets have room to keep him? We ask that both in terms of actual bodies on the blue line as well as cap space.

Remember that the Jets also have highly touted d-man Josh Morrissey in the system, and Trouba, a Norris Trophy candidate in the making, can become a restricted free agent after next season. So, if Myers can realize his “huge upside,” it’s not hard to imagine the club trading Byfuglien before his contract expires, particularly if he’s intent on playing defense, the position he prefers.

Related: Sabres not worried about Evander Kane’s character