In an era when blockbuster moves have become scarce due to salary cap complications, this trade truly breaks the mold.
The Buffalo Sabres have acquired controversial forward Kane and defenseman Zach Bogosian from the Winnipeg Jets for a treasure trove of assets, including defenseman Myers, forward Drew Stafford and a first-round draft pick. In addition, the Jets have acquired 21-year-old forward Joel Armia and 18-year-old forward prospect Brendan Lemieux. The Sabres have also acquired unsigned goalie prospect Jason Kasdorf as part of the trade.
This information is all based on reports from Darren Dreger of TSN. The first-round draft pick will be the lowest of the Sabres’ three first-round picks in the 2015 NHL Draft (Buffalo currently owns the New York Islanders and St. Louis Blues‘ picks).
In an era when blockbuster moves have become scarce due to salary cap complications, this trade truly breaks the mold. Of course, a perfect compliment of circumstantial instances helped make this trade a reality.
Kane has long had a troubled relationship with Winnipeg and the Jets organization. From controversial photos posted on social media to reports of skipping out on restaurant bills, Kane’s name was fixture in controversial discussions. This came to a head last week when a report broke that Kane was a healthy scratch, which was one part injury and one part team rule violation.
Kane had reported to practice in a track suit. Jets players apparently have a dress code, which does not include track suits. Why Kane showed up in the attire he did remains somewhat unclear, but the suit in question ultimately ended up in a shower after Winnipeg forward/defenseman/all-around large man Dustin Byfuglien threw it in there.
This resulted in Kane skipping the team’s bus and effectively setting into the motion the deal that was consummated on Wednesday. Kane had been dealing with a nagging injury for some time and opted to have season-ending surgery, which was as much about getting healthy as it was about divorcing from the Jets.
Which is where the Sabres come into play.
Buffalo is not playing for this season. With a deep draft class in 2015 — including Connor McDavid, a player described as a generational talent — the team is hoping to swiftly build through the draft. Essentially, losing this season is winning in the long-term. Acquiring Kane, a player who won’t play this season, for NHL players who can play this season, helps the Sabres achieve their short-term goal of losing and their long-term goal of winning.
Myers and Stafford are two players who have been rumored to be on the move for quite some time. Many reports indicated that the Detroit Red Wings had their sights set on acquiring Myers. Of course, they will now have to explore other options. Myers is an interesting player, because his size — listed at 6’8, 219 — makes him a candidate to become a prototypical top-pairing defenseman. This belief was further substantiated when he won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in 2009-10.
However, his play has regressed since. The hope, for those interested in acquiring him, is that his potential can be harnessed. That will now be a task for Paul Maurice and his coaching staff.
In terms of Cheveldayoff, the Winnipeg general manager, he certainly made a statement with his first NHL player-for-player trade. Cheveldayoff has held off trading a piece from the Jets’ NHL roster since the franchise relocated to Winnipeg from Atlanta. Some thought he would never make a trade.
Given the Jets’ strong showing this year, the dissent that had grown between the organization and Kane and the strategic rebuild philosophy of the Sabres, the perfect situation existed for all these streams to cross.