Mar 25, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Brian Gionta (21) and Buffalo Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff (10) crash in the boards after fighting for the puck and defensemen Tyler Myers (57) during the first period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

NHL DRAFT: Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers Trade Scenarios

Yesterday, Oil On Whyte had a peek at what the Oilers could possibly do to make a trade worthwhile with the Florida Panthers. Some of you took the time to comment on my speculations (thanks for doing that, readers, we welcome more comments and debate here on our pages). It appears that those readers found my trade proposal a little bit of a stretch. Personally, I find Dale Tallon to be slightly “out there”. He has made some crazy moves over the years, so much so I begin to wonder if he spends the off season at the cottage with Garth Snow. That’s why I wouldn’t be shocked if that kind of trade were to happen. Sure, Edmonton might need to add a couple more pieces, but its “in the realm”. After all, this year’s draft isn’t a blockbuster.

The Buffalo Sabres, on the other hand, are a different story. There’s a reason they finished dead last in the NHL this year, and it can all be chalked up to a truly wretched roster. Thomas Vanek was traded away, as was Matt Moulson. Ryan Miller was jettisoned, leaving Drew Stafford, Christian Ehrhoff and Tyler Myers as trade bait that has any level of appeal.

If the Oilers were to play ball with Buffalo, what would make sense–for both teams.

Buffalo
—2nd Overall Pick
—Christian Ehrhoff

Edmonton
—3rd Overall Pick
Sam Gagner
—David Musil

DavidMusilOilKings

Once again, it makes perfect sense for Edmonton to let go of a good defensive prospect. Musil is just that, and would join Mark Pysyk in the blossoming defensive core in Buffalo. The player is another big body, is a bit more mature at 21 and could see some real progress after another year in the AHL. Buffalo should be happy to acquire him.

Edmonton, meanwhile, lets go of Gagner, while the Sabres majorly upgrade their centre situation with the arrival of our current 2nd line center. Edmonton gains an experienced defenseman, while increasing their chances to draft Aaron Ekblad should Florida pick someone else. Is it realistic? For the most part. Buffalo will want to be sure the return won’t leave a gaping hole on their blue line. Still, this is a team in rebuild mode and they may feel new blood is necessary to rejuvenate the line up. Ehrhoff would be missed, but they gain some needed offense and a prospect that should crack the line up eventually.

Buffalo
—Tyler Myers
—2015 3rd round pick

Edmonton
—3rd Overall Pick
—Sam Gagner
—2015 2nd round pick

First off, Buffalo would be nuts to pull the trigger on a Myers trade. At 6’8, he is the Pronger-esque player the Oilers and every other NHL team are chomping at the bit to get. In the above scenario, I’d say the Oilers lose out. They give up Ekblad or Bennett, and they lose Gagner. It leaves the center depth in Edmonton truly frightening. The reality is that a trade like this could happen. Edmonton needs a franchise defender. The question is whether they are willing to sell the farm on a semi-proven qunatity, or banking on a fresh new face.

Buffalo
Chris Stewart
—2nd Overall Pick

Edmonton
—3rd Overall Pick
—Sam Gagner
Taylor Fedun

Mar 3, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Buffalo Sabres right wing Chris Stewart (80) waits for play to begin against the Dallas Stars during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Stars defeated the Sabres 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Stewart is a player that Edmonton has eyed in the past. When he was with St. Louis, I am sure management sought him out. Many thought he was somewhat untouchable, but then he was sent out in the ill-fated trade that saw Ryan Miller tend goal for a handful of games—now, he is UFA and will test the market this year.

Would either team make this trade? Ultimately, it is important to remember that in many of these trade scenarios, we are talking about top draft picks with very little drop off between them in terms of skill and potential. To go from 2 to 3 or vice-versa, isn’t a huge leap. On the other hand, it may give a team the opportunity to pick a player they specifically desire. Stewart is a piece Buffalo needs. He’s a big fella at 6’2 , 231 lbs, and they won’t let him go for nothing. But, hey, Sam Gagner is a pretty damned good NHL player. Let’s not forget that. He may have some struggles with his two way game, but he ought to be valued higher. With the third pick and Fedun, its variations on a theme. If Edmonton can satisfy the needs of the Sabres in other areas, they may be willing to sacrifice players suitors may line up to beg for.

In the end, it will be tougher to find players that both teams can sacrifice to make a trade happen. Of course, there’s always the Nail Yakupov wild card in this years trade season, but he would need to return a Myers type player or its no dice.

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Tags: Chris Stewart Edmonton Oilers Sam Gagner Taylor Fedun Trades Tyler Myers

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