Is there a trade fit between the Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres?

I should start off by saying that this is the worst kind of
trade column: the speculative kind. Looking at the rosters of the Buffalo
Sabres and Edmonton Oilers, though, I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t some
kind of trade fit between the two teams.

Let’s start by looking at the collection of defencemen each
of the two teams currently employs, split by left and right side.

Here’s Buffalo:

  • Left: Josh Gorges, Jake McCabe
  • Right: Rasmus Ristolainen, Zach Bogosian, Cody Franson, Mark
    Pysyk, Casey Nelson

Gorges was the team’s top left-shot defenceman last season,
and he’s not a legitimate top-pair player. McCabe is a keeper, but last year
was his rookie season. The Sabres are in a similar position to the Oilers in
terms of their window to win, so this is a team that would seem to have an
obvious need for both immediate help and young players who can grow with the

On the right side, the team is loaded. I imagine the plan is
to run Ristolainen-Bogosian as the 1-2 punch on the right side for years to
come, though I wonder about the availability of Bogosian. I firmly believe that he’s a player with a reputation that exceeds his on-ice results, but he
does have a history of logging major minutes, he’s big and young, and he can
both skate and shoot the puck. I’ve been surprised that more of the trade
chatter this summer hasn’t mentioned him as a possibility.

After that duo, there’s all kinds of interesting names,
though. Franson is big, still reasonably young and importantly has a big shot;
he’d be a very interesting power play option for the Oilers and his underlying
numbers have always been good. Pysyk is a good Alberta boy, but more
importantly he’s a promising young right-shot defenceman with a varied
skillset. Nelson is 6’2”, 23 years old, and put up four points in seven NHL
games after his college career ended last season.


Here’s Edmonton:

  • Left: Oscar Klefbom, Andrej Sekera, Brandon Davidson, Darnell
    Nurse, Griffin Reinhart, Jordan Oesterle
  • Right: Mark Fayne, Adam Clendening

It’s not hard to see a potential fit there. The name that
practically leaps off the chart is that of Reinhart, an NHL-ready left-shot
defenceman who is young enough to grow with a rebuilding team. Add in that his
brother Sam is a Sabre and it’s easy to imagine Buffalo being interested. That’s not the only possibility, of course; it’s really
easy to look at these rosters and imagine a scenario where these two teams
could help each other out.

Then there’s the possibility of draft picks.

The Sabres own the No. 8 pick in this summer’s draft.
Edmonton general manager Peter Chiarelli has made it clear that he would
consider deals in which the Oilers moved down at the draft, and No. 8 falls
into the No. 4-9 range that Chiarelli has described as being the draft’s second
tier. Buffalo just happens to be hosting the draft this year, and Matthew
Tkachuk has previously
been suggested
as the perfect linemate for fellow American Jack Eichel.  

All of this makes Buffalo a logical partner for Edmonton.
Maybe there’s no fit that the two teams can agree on, but there aren’t many
teams in the NHL that have both a glut of right-shot defenders and a top-10
draft pick to play with in trade. It would be a major shock if the Oilers hadn’t
at least sounded out the Sabres about the possibility of making a deal. 


  • Prometheus

    I fully acknowledge that I am relatively incompetent here, but I’m giving it a shot regardless. Hypothetically-

    Sabres get: Reinhart + #4

    Oil get: Pysyk + #8 + [#38 or #68 or 2 of #84/85/(87-90*)] (*Buffalo has the Blues’ 3rd, which is TBD)

    Swap budding LD for budding RD, plus add fuel for a separate trade. Yay or nay?

      • madjam

        I find it odd that you put 1st and second and Pysyk for Hall . No way Oilers would let Hall go that cheap . The only thing I see is what Buffalo would give us free of any trade to get our #4 pick . Also ,I find amusing is the price ON would suggest to get Ristolainen now , seeing as we could have him instead of Nurse . It was what I had wanted and over and 90% of ON did not , and dissed anyone that thought so . I believe you were one of them opposed to Ristolainen at that time as well .

        Chia should get what every team will give him for the swap of picks to ull over , as there is perhaps one to good to pass up . Buffalo can draft at NBR.4 the best left handed defenseman in the draft – be it Juolevi ,Chychrun or Sergachev . All three might be NBR.1 offensive defenseman on a lot of teams down the line . That should be a huge bonus if they can get us to move on a swap . Give us Risto or Begozian and swap of picks I might go for it , but none of the others seeing as what they might add with our pick .

  • The Whispererer

    If he is a true top pair guy, Bogosian has good size and a good contract (4 years left at $5.14). However,
    I would wait to see a full due diligence of Bogosian first. Is he injury prone ? In the past 6 seasons starting in 2010-11 he has played 71,65,33,55,62,64 games.

    • toprightcorner

      4 years @ $5.14 is NOT a good contract for Bogosian. He is at best a 2nd pairing guy. Demers would be better and may be had for the same price. BUF would have to take some salary back for me to even consider it.

  • daryl

    We can make a trade without giving up our draft pick why does everyone want to throw Dubois away. If we don’t get a true #1 RH Dman then keep the pick (Dubois)and draft through the later rounds to find what we need Peter has already shown he can do it with Bear and Jones. The Russian as well but I can’t remember his name.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    i’m not as big a fan of Bogo as some are. although he fits the bill pretty good as a RD with size, he just hasn’t been great for a guy taken #3 overall. and we already have a #4 overall who likely won’t be great in Griffin Reinhart, so have we learned anything here? if we make a trade/signing for a couple of RD, i want someone better coming here than Bogo, especially if we trade down from #4 to #8.

    • Moe Sizzlack

      Nuckleheads and lanes won’t trade in the division unless they fleece us ..

      I don’t want any nucks and only Hamilton fr lames who is most likely untouchable

      • madjam

        I believe they will both make a pitch for our 4th pick swap . I could envision Flames possibly dangling Colbourne , Ferland or Bouma . I could envision Canucks dangling Burrows or Vrbata . Would any of them be worth Oilers swapping their pick with either of them ? Have not checked Arizona as yet for what they might offer to get Tkachuk or one of the top defenseman .

        • FlamesFanOtherCity

          I find it interesting that you would think the Flames offer Bouma to move up two spots. Not the biggest talent out there, but he blocks shots and plays to the end of a game injured or not. Sorta like a poor man’s Glencross.

          The Flames would do it in a heartbeat, then use the 4th to move up to 3rd and draft a Finn.

  • madjam wrote:

    I find it odd that you put 1st and second and Pysyk for Hall. No way Oilers would let Hall go that cheap.

    That was the whole point of my comment. Whoosh.

    Also ,I find amusing is the price ON would suggest to get Ristolainen now , seeing as we could have him instead of Nurse . It was what I had wanted and over and 90% of ON did not , and dissed anyone that thought so . I believe you were one of them opposed to Ristolainen at that time as well .

    The nice thing is that you can go to Google and find out if you’re right about that. If you do a search, you’ll find that I was pretty agnostic about those two players.

    Give us Risto or Begozian and swap of picks I might go for it , but none of the others seeing as what they might add with our pick .

    You *might* accept Ristolainen + No. 8 for the No. 4? Might?

    • McRaj

      Madjam is a passionate fan but a little bit delusional. He probably wouldn’t trade Eberle and the fourth for risto and eighth. Or nuge for faulk. But we have to admire hik sticking up for the players and willing to go through another bottom 5 season.

  • madjam

    After watching most of the Memorial Cup game tonight , I find quite a big drop off in talent after Puljujarvi , Laine and Matthews . Tkachuk and Juolevi looked reasonable but not spectacular . Neither seemed close to the hype surrounding them in the game . First game , but not overly impressed with the caliber of their play .

  • McJeetz

    Keep the 4th. Trade:

    Yak and Reinhart for Pysyk and 8th


    get Tkachuk or Dubois and their defenseman

    Clean up their roster a bit

    Set up for the expansion draft

    Have 2 potential impact players starting to mature as the 6 million dollar player’s contracts begin to expire

    Gets a right hand shooting def with potential


    Unites the Reinhart brothers

    Get a 1st overall who needs a fresh start on a good contract

    • McRaj

      Whatever your smoking, pass it over. Yak and Reinhart together may get you a mid to late round pick, not a lottery pick and a quality right shot player with potential.

  • Namudi

    I truly wish k lowe how son and Mac t were still involved. Then when we draft patrick next year we could still blame them.


    All this trade speculation is fun but we finally have a staff that we can trust in to do the right thing and not worry, two years ago was a totally different story.

  • The Last Big Bear

    There probably WAS a good fit between the Oilers and the Sabres.

    But the Oilers are a day late and a dollar short.

    The Sabres traded Myers and Zadorov a year ago, and we’re trying to talk about a meaningful trade based around Reinhart.

    A day late and a dollar short.

  • Time Travelling Sean

    Why is everyone so eager to trade Reinhart, a defencemen with 4+ years of developing, for another noob draft pick defenceman.

    Keep Reinhart, don’t trade him for magic beans that are 4 years behind his development curve.

  • Prudham's

    Hi Mr. Willis. Please don’t take this personally, it’s my opinion about hockey blogging in general. Since you brought it up, I don’t see why not write speculative blogs about possible transactions. All the harder stuff of statistical analysis and assessment of players and systems and so forth can still be written. But in my opinion, it’s entirely appropriate for blogs to reflect the nature of the hockey world at large, one of entertainment. Non-speculative blogs are interesting and often entertaining, but hockey is played and enjoyed for fun. Why shouldn’t blogs be fun and light a good part of the time? The very format of blogs is more casual than other types of platforms anyway, and that’s the goodness of blogs.

    I would love to see every blogger on Oilers Nation give their best attempt at several hypothetical trades that would help the team in ways that each blogger sees most pertinent to helping the team improve. It’s not vapid to explain these decisions in the context of the Oilers team structure. It’s of interest to me to see what kind of changes could *potentially* occur on the roster for next year. In fact this is really the heart of most Oiler media output in the offseason anyway; why not put a finer point on it? You can’t get around the fact that they are out of the playoffs and not good enough.

    I realize that blogging about possible trades may simply not be your cup of tea, and I wouldn’t urge you to write that which you would not like to write, but as a general ethic I say: LET THERE BE SOME SPECULATION! Maybe tell your fellow bloggers. I won’t think less of them. Looking at chat rooms where many regular fans give wind to their thoughts, this is probably where people spend the most keystrokes. I don’t see it as the low culture of the hockey media world at all. We’re all using our forethought on these very topics anyway, so why not write more about it?

    • DarkOil

      To me the Oilers have; Fayne, Korpikoski, Lander, Gazdic, Yakupov, Hunt, Laleggia, Lagesson, Paigin, Pardy, Cracknell and the following number of picks in this year’s draft… 1 first, fourth, and sixth also 2 in the second, third and fifth to be traded for; Shaw, Bicknell, Vatanen and Parayko. The lines would then be;







      I have heard that it would take a 3rd round pick to get both Bickell and Shaw out of Chicago so it would come down to the cost of Vatanen out of Anaheim and Parayko out of St. Louis that would determine how successful the Oilers could make this. The reason I picked Parayko is because just like Nurse and McDavid he is expansion draft ineligible. Also he is one of the best out there and I believe that we could make a push to get him into an Oilers jersey. Also I believe that Nurse and Clendening would receive a benefit from playing together in the AHL to start next season to gain familiarity and learn the system that is couched here now. As well as some additional information from playing top line minutes without media criticism. Obviously any player not traded would need a spot somewhere in our lineup but I’m sure we could accommodate.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      RD Michael Stone is the guy i’d want from them because we simply aren’t going to get OEL. he’s 6’3″ 210 and scored 6 goals and 36 points this season. he’d fit the bill as a second pairing RD. not sure the Yotes would trade him though, even in a deal to be able to trade up from 7 to 4?

      • Moe Sizzlack

        Yes they would ,,, it’s a Poor hockey market, the owner cares more about money then winning a few xtra games at this point .., Local kid Tkachuk sells more jerseys and gets more fans in the seats then Stone does

      • madjam

        Certainly worth a try and inquiring about , although I would feel that Arizona might want more than just the swap of picks .

        My suggestion is to get another second round pick so as to pay Boston back with our 32nd pick this year rather than next year . Basically we do that and also get back the 32nd pick by getting Fischer from 2015 rather than this years 32nd pick . Not as much as your suggestion as far as player goes but still not to bad of a prospect none the less .

        • HardBoiledOil 1.0

          with all the talk of Matthews being a local boy for the Yotes, some seem to forget that Tkachuk is a local boy himself being born in Scottsdale. i could indeed see them wanting to trade up to get Tkachuk as a good plan B. Stone or something else good, along with a swap of picks with the Yotes would be fine with me, and they’d likely want one of our d-men in return like Davidson perhaps?

          i know our fans don’t want brandon traded, but we’d have more than enough LD to take his place, specifically Reinhart and Oesterle. just my opinions, not written in….er….Stone!

        • The Whispererer

          It’s a bit early in the morning for me, but do i understand correctly that you would rather give Boston pick #32 this year than a pick next year that is most likely going to be in the 40’s ?

  • madjam

    The value of our pick (4th) to the 8th pick is dependant upon what the other clubs think is reasonable compensation . Will any stick their necks out to make just a straight swap , and will we still get the player we might want in their position ? Not sure their is much difference in value from 4-8th to begin with , they are that close .

  • The Whispererer

    This year Boston has 2 1st round picks incl.San Jose’s and 1 2nd round pick (NY Islanders) and no picks in the 3rd or 4th round. I would be surprised on draft day if Boston isn’t willing to accept a 3rd round pick this year rather than wait till next year for a 2nd.