The Buffalo Sabres pulled off an aggressive move on the eve of the trade deadline, by acquiring Brandon Montour from the Anaheim Ducks.
On Sunday, we asked if the Buffalo Sabres were putting themselves in position for a trade, as per a couple of roster moves they made. We also referred to how having three first round picks for this year’s draft could be enough to entice a team into making a deal, while still being able to build for the future.
As it turned out, the Sabres didn’t even wait until the end of the day to make their move. As confirmed by the team’s official Twitter account, they acquired Brandon Montour from the Anaheim Ducks.
In return, the Sabres gave up blue liner Brendan Guhle and a 2019 first round pick. The Ducks will receive one of the San José Sharks or St. Louis Blues picks obtained in previous trades, depending on the final draft order.
There is some unhappiness that the Sabres parted company with Guhle. The combination of his mobility, build, physical play and upside had him projected to be part of the team’s long-term future.
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However, there is a lot of intrigue surrounding Montour, who has 21 games of invaluable playoff experience from his first two seasons in the NHL. His offense and mobility are considered exceptional, while he is also more than capable of quarterbacking the power play.
"“Brandon is a young, offensive-minded defenseman who can play the uptempo style we are looking to play. He’s a right-shot defenseman that brings additional playoff experience to our club.”"
Montour’s contract situation was another aspect considered before making the trade. After this season he still has another year left on his current deal, before becoming a restricted free agent.
While the acquisition is mostly being received positively, there are still some concerns regarding the 24-year-old’s defense. He is seen as somewhat of a gambler, who struggles at times with his positioning.
In addition, Montour’s plus/minus rating of -16 stands out. However, a lot of this can be attributed to the Ducks being a poor team in general; consider that he was +11 and +16 respectively during his first two seasons in the league, on teams which went to the playoffs.
With the addition, the Sabres have shown they still believe they have a decent chance of making this season’s playoffs. After a couple of impressive performances against the Tampa Bay Lightening and Washington Capitals, they sit six points out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand.
However, Buffalo could still use some more help if they are to end a postseason drought which currently stands at seven years. It will be interesting to see if they have another big move in them, between now and the 3 pm ET trade deadline.
What is your opinion of the trade by the Buffalo Sabres? Was Montour worth it, or did the team give up too much to acquire him? Let us know in the comments section below.