The Blackhawks have apparently been in contact about Brian Gionta, but how likely is it to expect the Buffalo Sabres to part ways with their captain?
Brian Gionta‘s future with the Buffalo Sabres has been the subject of debate for several weeks now. His veteran leadership and playoff experience would undoubtedly provide a boost for any number of teams chasing Stanley Cup glory.
In that respect, it’s the Sabres’ own playoff challenge, which will prove key to any potential trade. Entering Thursday night’s action, the team currently find themselves four points off the pace in the Eastern Conference.
Another factor which will play a part is Gionta himself. For what it’s worth, he has a close relationship with general manager Tim Murray, and has intimated his desire to remain in Buffalo.
This makes sense in a lot of ways, given the Rochester native’s ties to the area. Regardless, he is the first to acknowledge the NHL is a business, and Murray will do what’s best for the organization.
More from Buffalo Sabres
- Buffalo Sabres and Victor Olofsson making progress on contract extension
- Buffalo Sabres still need goaltender help despite re-signing Anderson
- Buffalo Sabres: Time to close book on the Jack Eichel chapter
- Buffalo Sabres receiving interest in members of defensive core
- Buffalo Sabres focused on youth during another disastrous season
In all likelihood, any decision will go down to the wire, i.e. the March 1st trade deadline. However, we’re now aware of at least one team’s interest in Gionta.
Now, this is purely just speculation on our part, but you have to imagine Gionta will be intrigued, no matter how much he wants to stay in Western New York. After all, how often does the potential opportunity arise, to play for a team which has won three of the last seven Stanley Cups and is in contention again?
Of course, as previously mentioned, any deal is also about how it benefits the Sabres. The 38-year old becomes a free agent in the summer, and again, no matter what he claims, there are no guarantees he will be back next season.
As you’d expect, when the Blackhawks contacted the Sabres, they asked what it would take to secure a trade for Gionta. According to Sabres Insider, the price quoted was a third plus a late rounder.
There’s no way of knowing for sure the Blackhawks want the 1998 third round draft pick, but it makes a lot of sense. He’s playing arguably his best hockey since coming to Buffalo, and he’s as durable as ever, having not missed a single game this season.
Overall, the Sabres will understandably be hoping they are still in realistic contention come March 1st, so any decision regarding Gionta theoretically becomes easier. In that respect, it’s worth noting they have three more games to play before the trade deadline arrives.
Do you believe Gionta will be traded by the deadline? If he leaves, does a third and a late rounder sound reasonable to you? Share your thoughts in the comments section.