Buffalo Sabres: Can Marco Scandella be used as trade bait?

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 01: Marco Scandella
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 01: Marco Scandella /

It’s been an interesting tenure thus far for Marco Scandella. The Buffalo Sabres defenseman has been one of those quiet, but effective players.

In a trade that the Buffalo Sabres thankfully made for the defense, Scandella and Jason Pominville were acquired from the Minnesota Wild. The summer deal saw the Swords send Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno back to Minneapolis, and Buffalo arguably got the better end of the trade.

It’s been a blessing to have Scandella on the back-end for Buffalo this season. There’s a huge dip past Rasmus Ristolainen in terms of quality defenseman. Prospects such as Brendan Guhle are too young for a role right now, making Scandella a perfect placement holder.

In no way shape or form has Scandella been rumored out by the trade deadline. However, it wouldn’t be crazy for Jason Botterill to at least consider trading the 27-year-old now, or in the summer window.

The first part of understanding where a deal for Scandella would make sense comes from the fans. Everybody including the Swords have to realize Buffalo are still rebuilding for the future. Realistically, contention may not happen until at least three years pass by.

There’s gaping holes in the Sabres’ roster at the moment. The holes need to be plugged by some youth talent that can guide the blue and gold into the future. Scandella is not one of those players at the very least.

Something may show that Botterill knew the defense was going to be somewhat of a disappointment heading into the season. The Montreal native can handle all types of minute, but in a way, he should not be on the top pair.

There’s no depth at the back for the Sabres, and Botterill knew that. Any defenseman, regardless of the age, needed to be added to prevent thoughts of another horrible season.

Well, the Sabres have another awful season on their hands right now. It all draws back to the rebuilding stage. Scandella may be a fit now, but his space needs to occupied by younger and cheaper players.

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The left-shot defenseman has been one of the only players to fit into Phil Housley‘s deteriorating offensive-defensemen structure. Scandella has one goal and 14 assists on the season, which has stapled him for top minutes.

Contending teams are going to want a defenseman to slot right into the second or third pair. Scandella’s stats fit right into that, not on the top pair of the Sabres.

The Canadian’s cap hit isn’t the worst either. A guaranteed minutes defender deserves a contract of near $4 million in today’s NHL.

Teams making a run for the Stanley Cup sometimes make some silly mistakes at the deadline in hopes for silverware. Top prospects of fringe teams suddenly become available, and that’s when Botterill and the Blades need to step in.

As much as Scandella has helped the club out this season, he’s not really a long-term player. Buffalo could end up landing some nice assets for the future in a Scandella deal.

The season is over for the Sabres. It’s time to move on already and think about what’s next. Marco may cross the thoughts of the Sabres’ management soon, and it could be a decision that makes sense.

Next: Jack Eichel a rare bright spot in a lost season

Do you think the Buffalo Sabres should trade Scandella by the end of the year? What kind of return would you expect for the defenseman? Let us know in the comments section below.