Though he’s only been there for half a year, Jamie McGinn has really embraced playing in Buffalo.
McGinn, a pending UFA, sits fourth on the team in goals (10) and points (21), earning widespread acclaim from teammates for his net-front presence and winning board battles. He says he loves playing for the Sabres, his agent says he loves playing for the Sabres… yet, as the NHL trade deadline draws closer, McGinn’s name continues to pop up as a potential target.
Per the Buffalo News, agent Thane Campbell says there’s been no talks with GM Tim Murray about a new deal for his client.
But that hasn’t stopped Campbell from expressing McGinn’s affinity for the organization.
“He loves Buffalo,” Campbell explained. “He loves the city. He really likes the teammates. He really feels comfortable there. He feels the coaches have respect for his game, and he feels that it’s a good fit for him.”
From Murray’s perspective, hanging onto McGinn might not make sense. The 27-year-old could be a fairly hot commodity at the deadline and, given Murray’s penchant for stockpiling assets to aid in Buffalo’s rebuild, adding more draft picks could be the play.
(Don’t forget Buffalo is hosting the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.)
(But also don’t forget Buffalo already has eleven picks to make.)
In the end, this could all come down to money, as it often does.
McGinn’s making $2.95 million annually on his current deal, but this would be the first time he’s eligible for unrestricted free agency. Hitting the open market could prove too enticing, especially for a hybrid guy like McGinn who’s got some offensive talent, can play the power play, but also provides physicality.
He current sits third on the Sabres in hits, with 98.