With the Sabres struggling once again this season, a few teams are kicking the tires on center Ryan O’Reilly, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported on WGR 550 (audio link). He adds that there’s no indication that Buffalo is shopping him or that a deal is close, just that some teams are inquiring. GM Jason Botterill acknowledged to John Vogl of the Buffalo News that they have had conversations with other teams in general but that nothing is imminent.
O’Reilly would be a pricey acquisition for any team as he carries a $7.5MM cap hit through 2022-23 on a front-loaded deal that is almost entirely signing bonuses. However, top-six pivots are always in high demand and the 26-year-old also happens to be one of the better faceoff players in the league. If the Sabres are open to moving him, they should be able to garner a strong return although because of that cap hit, it may make more sense to wait to trade him until the offseason where teams will have more flexibility on the payroll which could bring out a few more suitors.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic:
- While Maple Leafs wingers Mitch Marner and William Nylander aren’t off to as good of a start to this season as they were in 2016-17, Damien Cox of the Toronto Star argues that it isn’t necessarily too bad of a problem, at least in off the ice. With Nylander hitting restricted free agency this coming summer, his asking price could drop if he continues at his current pace while a similar case could be made for Marner, who still has one more year left on his entry-level deal after this one and can sign an extension in July. Toronto undoubtedly would prefer their key youngsters to get back to (or beat) their numbers from last season but if that doesn’t happen, this would at least be a small consolation as they look to reshape their payroll in the coming years.
- While Panthers center prospect Henrik Borgstrom hasn’t made up his mind as to whether or not he turns pro next season, his head coach Jim Montgomery told Walter Villa of the Miami Herald that he expects Florida to sign him which would eliminate his remaining college eligibility. The 23rd overall pick in 2016 is once again dominating with Denver University, posting 13 goals and 10 assists through the first 15 games of the season. With that type of production, it’s hard to argue that it won’t be time for him to move up to the professional level.