With an eye towards accumulating assets to help them down the road, the Buffalo Sabres are reportedly among the most aggressive teams pursuing injured Winnipeg Jets power forward Evander Kane.
Could a potential package that the Sabres might offer the Jets include Tyler Myers? It’s possible, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
McKenzie shed some light on Buffalo’s reported interest in Kane during an Insider Trading segment broadcast on TSN on Tuesday evening.
“Of all those teams that would aggressively like to force (Jets general manager) Kevin Cheveldayoff’s hand to trade Evander Kane before the deadline, I would suggest that the Buffalo Sabres would be most aggressive in terms of their stance.
They’ve got a lot of pieces they can play with here. They’ve got multiple first round picks,
their own of course, which isn’t going anywhere, but they’ve got the New York Islanders’ and the St. Louis Blues’. They’ve got lots of prospects in the minors: Joel Armia, a scoring winger from Finland who plays in Rochester, comes immediately to mind. They’ve got something for now in terms of expiring contracts (with) Drew Stafford and Chris Stewart who are unrestricted free agents at the of the year, and it’s not out of the question that if those two teams are talking about Evander Kane that maybe big defenseman Tyler Myers gets his name worked into the equation.
There has been interest from Winnipeg and Buffalo in doing a Myers deal previous to this. It would change the dynamic and make it more complicated, but it’s something within the realm of possibility.
Myers’ name has been mentioned in trade rumours for much of the past week, though the teams most often tied to him are the Detroit Red Wings and the Anaheim Ducks. This seems like an extremely odd fit for a Jets club that already has three very capable right-handed shooters on their blue-line in Dustin Byfuglien, Jacob Trouba and Zach Bogosian. It’s tough to see where Myers fits in with that group, unless the Jets are simultaneously dangling, say, Bogosian in an attempt to land an impact forward.
That possibility seems remote, particularly considering Cheveldayoff’s usual and extremely conservative modus operandi.
If the Sabres are all-in on Kane though, and the deal doesn’t include Myers, then this could make a good deal of sense for the Jets. The Sabres’ arsenal of futures – from the multiple first-round picks, to the plethora of recent first-round draft choices – would give them an unrivalled war chest in the bidding for Kane. Also, while the Sabres lack top-end talent of any consequence, they have a variety of useful depth forwards who could help flesh out Winnipeg’s underwhelming bottom-six.
Prospective returns aside, the most important thing here from Winnipeg’s perspective is that the Sabres are reportedly interested. Kane didn’t ever seem to warm to playing in Winnipeg, and it seems possible that his reaction to playing in Buffalo, NY. may be similar. If the Sabres are willing to make that gamble though, then there’s nothing but upside here for Winnipeg.