The Buffalo Sabres have been looking to move some of their defensive depth for some time, and now on the latest edition of TSN’s Insider Trading Pierre LeBrun reports that they are after a top-nine forward. LeBrun suggests the recent injury to Vladimir Sobotka could make the Sabres act even more quickly to acquire that forward.
The Sabres are enduring a familiar crash in the standings recently, losing their last five games after starting the season on fire. Almost the exact same thing happened a year ago when the team plummeted in the standings after winning ten in a row, something the organization obviously doesn’t want to experience again.
Buffalo has scored just 50 goals through 17 games, 30 of them from the same four forwards. That offense needs to be spread out a little more if they want to contend for the playoffs this season, but who exactly they could target is unclear.
The Los Angeles Kings have made Tyler Toffoli a healthy scratch and today removed Ilya Kovalchuk from the lineup, but both of them come with hefty cap hits that the Sabres may not be able to take on once Zach Bogosian comes off long-term injured reserve (unless of course the move salary out the other way). Speculation has already begun in New Jersey with regards to Taylor Hall, but if he’s ever made available Buffalo would be one of many suitors bidding on him.
Perhaps less decorated options like Nic Petan or Joshua Ho-Sang could be an option, given how both have clearly been available this season and don’t carry big salaries. The team may be looking for a more proven player first however, given they already have a young core in place with room to grow.