Once everyone sees how amazing they are, it's just a matter of time before you get that bzzzzzz from 550550 telling you that they are real. That's my hope anyway. For at least one of these gems.
Disclaimer: I don't know very much about the young players on these other teams. I chose them based on their profile without any first-hand knowledge of their teams' opinions of them or them as people. My goal was to find young players that fit to make trades realistic and interesting.
In my perfect world, these five Sabres trades happen in the next six days:
1. Ryan Miller to St. Louis for a 2014 first-round pick, forward Ty Rattie and goalie Jaroslav Halak. The Sabres don't fill a hole in net by this trade, at least not beyond this season, as after the season ends so does Halak's contract. Halak is a placeholder.
In his first year of professional hockey, Rattie is leading the AHL's Chicago Wolves in goals (21) and points (36). He was the 32nd pick in the 2011 draft. Rattie is 6-foot-1 and turned 21 earlier this month.
I think is trade is balanced. The Blues get a goaltending upgrade for a team primed to take a step toward the Stanley Cup. The Sabres get a nice prospect and a sure-to-be low first-round pick.
2. Matt Moulson, Marcus Foligno and a 2014 2nd-round pick to Los Angeles for Valentin Zykov and a 2014 first-round pick. Moulson, Jonathan Quick's brother-in-law, gives some scoring punch to a team that seems to have lost its own. The inconsistent Foligno offers the Kings some youth and talent to bring up the Sabres' end of the deal.
Zykov, the 37th pick in the 2013 draft, has 56 points in 46 games for Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the QMJHL. He will be 19 in May. Zykov, 6 feet tall and 209 pounds, was last year's QMJHL Rookie of the Year.
I think the draft pick shift makes this trade balanced, although if I'd probably do a trade like this without that part.
** LA may have to find cap room to make this trade, and I'm saying here that they do that through other moves.
3. Steve Ott and Brayden McNabb to Tampa Bay for Brett Connolly. Tampa is good, despite having been without Steven Stamkos most of the year. I see Ott as a good fit for them. Whether or not they like McNabb is a guess on my part. I would think McNabb, 23, has a skill set interesting to some teams. If I'm the Sabres I have enough depth on defense to move one or two men.
Connolly was the sixth overall pick in the 2010 draft. He has 32 points in 42 games for Syracuse of the AHL, a slightly slower scoring pace than he set last year for that team (63 points, 71 games). If Tampa Bay is ready to make a run, perhaps they would have to sacrifice Connolly.
Like LA, Tampa has limited cap space. Fans will be watching them to see if Martin St. Louis gets moved in light of recent reports.
4. Tyler Myers to Winnipeg for Evander Kane. Should I have led with this one? I think Myers is completely expendable. You see flashes of his talent but just enough to tease you.
The future of the Sabres on defense, if it were up to me, does not include him. Ristolainen, Zadorov, Pysyk ... you won't see those names in my trades. That's my defense. If I have a good team someday, at the deadline I'll supplement with a bearded veteran or two. I frankly don't care if Myers, whose dedication has been suspect in his still-young career, is on my team any more or not.
Kane, meanwhile, is an exciting idea. He's locked in at $5.25M for the next four years. Kane has but 29 points in 42 games for Winnipeg, a team likely to miss the playoffs again.
This trade works if the Jets want to veer in another direction, and, of course, if they like Myers. The Sabres once dealt Phil Housley to the Jets for Dale Hawerchuk so I might be guilty of thinking somehow these teams are meant for something like Myers-Kane. Cap-wise, this move is no problem.
Remember, the word fun is in the headline.
5. Tyler Ennis to Philadelphia for Anthony Stolarz and a 2014 3rd-round pick. I'd love it if at the deadline were able to move either Ennis or Cody Hodgson. If it doesn't happen, it can wait a year. But Ennis is up for a new contract and I think all the Sabres should want to do is two years max. That second year would make it easier, potentially, to trade him next season.
Stolarz is the goaltender for the OHL's London Knights. He suffered an ugly skate-cut leg injury a month ago but is on the road to recovery. Stolarz, 6-foot-5, was the 2012 draft's 45th pick.
I don't love this one. My guess is the Sabres would like to find a top-flight goaltending prospect at the deadline -- Jake Allen of St. Louis, Martin Jones of LA, Malcolm Subban of Boston, like that -- and Stolarz does not appear to be quite that. But they can shoot for that next year too.
If LA wants Myers or Christian Ehrhoff and is willing to trade Jones, there might be blockbuster-deal potential there. But again, the Kings have cap issues to consider. Maybe they move Dustin Brown. I think after the Blues, the most interesting team for Sabres fans to keep track of this week is Los Angeles.