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5 players the Sabres could move on draft day

For the Buffalo Sabres, June 27 could be a franchise-defining day. They own the second overall selection and plenty of assets to move.
One of the biggest questions as we approach draft day will be whether the Sabres should trade current roster players for draft picks, prospects or established players. But who should GM Tim Murray consider trading? Who are the most likely players to be dealt?

Here, we examine the five most likely players to be moved:

1) Tyler Myers

The Sabres’ enigmatic defenseman showed flashes of improvement in 2014, but still had fell short of expectations. The previous GM talked over and over about having patience with a 6-foot-7 defenseman – the new GM may see things a different way. While Myers profiles as the type of puck-carrying D-man Murray likes, his lows may just be too low to keep around, especially with Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov on the rise.

Now that we have moved past, “maybe he will be Chara or Pronger,” the focus can be on what Myers’ value is on the market. There is gluttony of teams in search of a defenseman with a high ceiling and somewhat reasonable cap hit at $5.5M (assuming the cap goes up). Could Edmonton or Florida be interested in boosting their blueline in exchange for a young forward or draft pick? The Sabres will probably look for both to get Myers away.

If Murray is not sold on the former first-round pick, the clock is ticking. Myers’ full no trade clause kicks in in 2016.

2) Christian Ehrhoff

Speaking of no trade clauses, Ehrhoff can select eight teams where he cannot be traded. The 31-year-old defenseman is a quality top four and is one of the best puck possession D-men in the NHL, but his age and value make him a candidate to be moved. You could reasonably see half the teams in the league needing or wanting a blueliner of his ilk – so there will be offers on the table.

The question is Murray’s price point. At the trade deadline, no teams were able to come close to offering enough to get Ehrhoff away from the Sabres. Will the price increase at the draft? Could Buffalo get another 2015 first-round pick from a team who expects to compete?

With a $4 million cap hit, the German defender is not the type the Sabres will let walk for cheap. At 31, he still has a lot in the tank as many similar D-men play deep into their 30s. He could be the veteran presence on a blueline with young talent aplenty.

3) Cody Hodgson

We may find out on draft day whether Murray believes Hodgson is a part of the long-term plan. After moving to wing, the 24-year-old seemed to be a better fit – especially when along side Zemgus Girgensons. But, down the road, the Sabres may expect to have players with a higher ceiling playing next to their Latvian center. There is also a chance Murray is designing his team like the Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings: With big players who can play at both ends and score. As a one-dimensional player, Hodgson does not exactly fit the bill.

Will anyone be interested in his contract? If another team sees him as a legitimate top six forward, $4.5 million cap hit is far from too much to take on in a trade. Murray could also wait until the deadline or down the road – by no means does he have to move a player penciled into next year’s power play time and top minutes.

4) Drew Stafford

The 2015 UFA forward found some chemistry with Ted Nolan, playing noticeably better down the stretch. However, his scoring has drifted downward since receiving a long-term contract. It seems very unlikely that the Sabres will want to keep him long term considering his fading scoring touch and age.

He could also be a classic “change of scenery” player, who could take off under different circumstances, but will struggle when carrying the hardest minutes on a bad team. If he was playing with a more skilled set of forwards, he might thrive as a finisher around the net.
Murray has another option: Hoping Stafford has a big year and trading him at the deadline. The low deadline prices for scorers (see: Vanek, Thomas) of last year may scare him from doing so.

5) Mikhail Grigorenko

The Sabres’ former first-round pick showed improvement when assigned to Rochester last year, but he could be one of the more valuable chips that the team is willing to part ways with. They are not trading Rasmus Ristolainen or Zemgus Girgensons for the moon. Nikita Zadorov is probably close to the same class.

Grigorenko is still considered an elite prospect, despite his struggles in the NHL. He has top-level offensive ability and could be the final piece to a bigger trade.

The holdup is the Russian forward’s ceiling. If everything goes perfectly in his development, he could be a Joe Thornton-esque point producer. Even though the chances of that are looking slimmer, it would be a black eye if he was traded away and became the superstar we once expected him to be.

06/10/2014 9:19AM
Trade candidates
Please enter your comments below.
06/10/2014 9:58AM
Erhoff and Hodgson could net a nice return
Add in a 2nd rounder and the Sabres could be picking twice in the top ten this year.
06/10/2014 10:05AM
Wow, you truly don't get it do you?
Stafford should have been first on the list. In fact, he should be cut from the team outright as his presence on the team screams about the ineptness of the organization as a whole. Of course Ted Nolan coaching the team is alone a bellringer for pure stupidity. Beyond that, NOTHING about Grigorenko tells ANYONE that he could be anything other than an abject failure. Just deal with the fact that Regier got suckered and move on. Hodgson is a joke without Vanek feeding him and why ever in the world isn't Ennis on the list? Face facts here people: the Buffalo Sabres are not remotely now nor at any time in the future going to beat a team like the Los Angeles Kings. That is all you need to know. NEVER.
06/10/2014 10:13AM
One or Two needs to get traded
Preferably I'd like to see Myers AND a player you don't have listed here...Tyler Ennis. I really don't understand why you don't have Ennis on this list Coller. You use the Hodgson example and it makes sense but Ennis makes even more sense for this. He is even smaller and wimpier than Hodgson. His defensive game is just as atrocious and while Hodgson may have found new life at wing, Ennis took a gigantic step back the last 2 seasons and basically is no better than a 3rd line center at best in the NHL. His cap hit is much more attractive than Hodgson's and mainly for that reason he should be dealt instead. Players like Myers and Ennis will need to be moved for players in exchange like Brad Marchand, Dustin Byfuglien, Evander Kane or Kyle Okposo. Trading these players and or/future draft picks and prospects in just as important to the near term success of the Sabres as this year's top draft pick and next year's top draft pick. If they fail (like Darcy Regier did) to get some quality veterans on this team to supplement the very young players, this team will never become a real stanley cup contender down the road.
06/10/2014 10:48AM
Jettison Hodgson and Grigorenko ASAP
They're both reflections of the missteps of Darcy and the old Sabres. The sooner they're gone, the better.
06/10/2014 11:38AM
trade ALL 5
if they are gonna be bad again next year then start over with the young players and develop a NEW CORE.I am tired of myers and cant STAND stafford(hated him for the past 3 years),hodgson if a defensive liability,ehrhoff doesn't want to be here(he isnt worth the money anyway) AND grigorenko is a flop!!!!! get rid of the old regime players and start with the new generation of talent!!
06/10/2014 12:07PM
Myers is tradeable, he has a huge upside and I could see teams wanting him. His cap hit isn't bad, but what works well is that his contract was so front loaded that a team trading for him would pay him only $5M for two seasons, then progressively lower over the remainder of the contract. I still think Myers can be a solid d-man and would only trade him if it meant solid offensive talent coming back our way, and a draft pick. Ehrhoff will be tough to move, simply due to the length of his contract, cap hit is easy and like Myers, his contract was so front loaded that teams won't be paying much $ for his services. I'd like to move Ehrhoff along and get whatever we can for him. Hodgson, I want him to stay, he will be an awesome 2nd line center on this team once Reinhart or Bennett take the #1 center job. He's still young and is a very good player, needs to get better defensively, but that will come soon enough. Stafford, ship him at the deadline for 2016 draft picks. He's in a contract year and will probably light up the lamp and will be a hot commodity at the deadline. Grigorenko, do not trade him. He's had virtually no chance in the NHL between Lindy and Ron playing him on the 4th line. He made some progress recently, and I can see him moved to wing and eventually a first line winger. There are two other players that I would add to this list that are tradeable. Stewart and Foligno, two big power forwards that could garner some high interest at the draft, but Murray seems to like the big power type players, so I suppose they wont likely be traded,
06/10/2014 12:11PM
06/10/2014 12:56PM
Make the right trades.
Since we are rebuilding don't you think they have to do some hard studying on new players. Because if they are going to make trades; lets make sure these players really won't to play here. We have been bringing players here along with talent. And then for some reason they fall off. But i would let tim make those calls. Because he know what we need and he knows what we don't need. Us as fans wants to at lease see progress. And this year it won't kill the sabres to listen to fans once in a while. Lets go ruff buff.
06/10/2014 1:07PM
trade BS
The only trade that might even be considered above is Grigorenko. One thing is for sure. Trading either Erhoff or Myers would ensure a last place position next year. No Matt, they shouldn't and you're rediculous.
06/10/2014 1:19PM
Meyers and Erhoff are cap deals. If either get traded, I would expect a large return. There's other D-men that could go too! I would say trade either Erhoff OR Meyers, not both. I don't think CoHo fits Murray's style at all. But who knows? Unfortunately, Kassian would probably be a better fit for this team under Murray as GM....but he could end up being a bust in Vancouver as well. I would bet on Stafford having a decent year and trying to move him during the 2014/15 deadline. If not, let him walk. Grigo is way too underdeveloped to give him away for a pick. Unless Murray got a prospect he has had his sights on for a while. I can't imagine getting much for Grigo at this point. Might as well give him a year an Rochester and either improve his value or make a decision on him.
06/10/2014 1:34PM
Tyler Ennis
06/10/2014 1:45PM
All these high end picks that wehave already taken, and the cupboard is near empty.
So what do the big thinkers want? To trade away the little talent for more "long term" projects. Sounds great, Matthew, we can set our sights on improving for the 2017-18 season. Now WGR is putting up articles questioning whether we should trade this year's #2 pick for more picks further in the future. Or trading down for more of the same wishy washy prospects. I see very little potential in these propsects we have gathered. Aside from Girgensons and a couple D-men, there is little room for optimism. So, what does the press want? To trade the existing talent for more draft picks. See, I actually would like to see a good team, not a sheet of paper showing how many picks we have acquired. For two years we have heard/read endless pieces about how Buffalo needs very high end picks. Now we have them and what do they say? Trade "down" with the #2 and get more middle rounders that never end up producing. Terrible piece here. The team needs skilled leadership, not more Hodgsons and Grigorenkos. The franchise is terrible, and the future looks poor.
06/10/2014 1:56PM
Top level offensive ability
What did I miss? because he scores in Jr's or Rochester doesn't mean squat. What did he do in the NHL? Does he have a wicked slapshot, fantastic hands in tight areas, laser wrist shot? didn't see any of those while he was here, and....he seems pretty darn slow. Forgot the entitlement part where he thinks he's already there as an NHL player.
06/10/2014 1:56PM
Only 5?
Geez, I opened to read this with excitement! Who else could we get rid of by months' end... In the end I (re)realize, there might only be 5 players worth keeping in this wretched organization! Oh do I miss Darcy...
06/10/2014 2:03PM
Trade Grigorenko
before he goes crying back to mother russia.
06/10/2014 2:44PM
no comments
its interesting, i've left comments and if it has anything to do with disagreeing with this station, you don't let it go through. i hope the bills leave so all have to try to find real jobs with no experience, like you have how.
06/10/2014 3:04PM
The only player listed that should be traded is Erhoff Nobody is gonna want Stafford and the other 3 are players you can build around. Its way to early to give up on those 3.
06/10/2014 4:36PM
Trade them all!
I can see all of them going! Tired of Erhoff and Stafford for sure
06/10/2014 8:12PM
Im not ready to give up on this kid and i hope murray trades up to midround of draft to pick up barbashev to and gets kamenev in the second round. Stafford will be gone at the trade deadline if he puts up decent numbers, if he isn't i'd try signing him at 3rd line contract. Myers we need to build around, still a young kid, erhoff and hogdson are trade assets, but hodgson more in 2015 for me. His value isn't high enough now.
06/10/2014 8:40PM
Anorher Fire Sale?
Tradetthese 5 and the worst team in hockey gets worse. We had the fire sale last year and it did nothing but make a bad team worse. You can't have a team full of first and second year players and expect to improve. Trades need to make for a reason. I agree that sabres should not trade down.How often do we get the number one pick....yes umber one because the first pick will be a Dman which Sabres don't need. They need a sniper.
06/11/2014 8:35AM
Superstar hype
I don't think it's fair to hold the current regime responsible for the empty hype of "superstar" from a GM desperately trying to keep his job. I was never certain why the media in Buffalo ate that up and spit it out to the masses.
06/11/2014 9:32AM
...Paul Hamilton. He stinks. Young QB overthrows WR in OTA's!! "Holy Cow!" as that other idiot that's on in afternoon would say.
06/11/2014 12:27PM
1st overall pick
Trade Erhoff, Hodgson and Grigorenko to Florida for the 1st overall pick. Draft the two Sam`s this year. They would send both Sam`s back to junior in order to tank the season to be in position to draft 1st overall next year. With the 1st overall pick the Sabres then would draft Connor McDavid. Imagine Bennett, Reinhart and McDavid on the same team!!
06/11/2014 2:01PM
Why isn't Stewart on this list?
Stewart is the most likely to go, and I don't have a problem with that. Of the 5 listed, I'd keep Myers and Grigorenko for sure. Myers will keep getting better (remember, you have to be patient with defensemen). Grigorenko isn't even 20years old for Pete's Sake! Give this kid a chance. In the next two years he should be playing in the NHL. P.S. Of course we keep the nr. 2 pick. We desperately need it!
06/11/2014 4:41PM
And you're crazy because Myers they should certainly give up on and trade because he is a "never was". Hodgson should have been given a 2 year contract only and certainly should be traded. Problem is no team is likely to take on his salary that he is not deserving of. Grigorenko is arguably the only player that is too young to give up on. In an irony to what you said Ehrhoff may be the only one worth keeping.
06/12/2014 5:24PM
Just remember ,all you fans of this total gutting of the team.Grigorenko was a first round draft pick.Just the type of players you will be depending on for the next few years.Of course anyone drafted this year will just end off back in juniors anyway so what players do you have.Next year will be worse than last!
06/12/2014 8:15PM
Matt......You're an idiot!
Where is the "smurf" Water Bug on your list. I'd trade him in a minute. GET RID OF THE BUMM!!! Let him stick with hockey store commercials.
06/13/2014 11:10AM
RE;Wow, you truly don't get it do you? AND it gets worse...
06/14/2014 2:59PM
Buffalo Fans...
It is so funny how you all know what is right and wrong for this team. You criticize them to no end, but as soon as they become good, you will be pounding the table as their #1 fan. "Trade this guy, he's a bum," then he scores a goal and it's, "sign this guy to an extension, he's the savior." Eat a turd and settle down. Let Tim Murray do his job. He has already done it once in Anaheim, and that worked out quite well. Craig Patrick is also no slouch either. The players you want to trade are really our best players, but they have nobody around them and cannot do it themselves. Trade Tyler Ennis, Tyler Myers, Mikhail Grigorenko, Rasmus Ristolainen, Nikita Zadorov, Mark Pysyk, Cody Hodgson and send Joel Armia back to Finland? Do you realize that is about 5 years worth of 1st round picks? Do you realize how much better they could and will undoubtedly be once they have a Sam Reinhart or Connor McDavid feeding them the puck? You don't realize that they ARE our future. Those ARE the names that will be engraved on the Stanley Cup, IF Buffalo is meant to win one anytime soon. You do not trade guys like that, you build around them! Those are the core of which you build around, not Nick Baptiste. Although he is developing into a solid player, he is the role player, he is the 3rd or 4th liner...not the centerpiece of the team like those I mentioned...like those of whom it seems everyone wants to see traded. Keeping Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson and Steve Ott was not going to get this team anywhere. They are gone. It is over. Move on. Sometimes teams have to lose good players, to get better...especially rebuilding teams. Get behind Tim Murray or get lose...there is no room on this bandwagon for fans like that. Pee or get off the pot.
06/14/2014 3:02PM
and yes...
I understand Hodgson was drafted by the Canucks. But, Zach Kassian was a 1st round pick...who was traded to Vancouver for Cody Hodgson. So, he is still part of that group of 1st round assets.
06/15/2014 1:34PM
She's THE FACE of this cute franchise!!! GO DARCY!!! WAIT Darcy "blew" his Pheonix interview!!????
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