Friday, June 30, 2017

Botterill Contines to Bolster Buffalo's Defense with Scandella Add

In a trade that looks like a win for both teams, the Buffalo Sabres added defenseman Marco Scandella and forward Jason Pominville while sending Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno to the Minnesota Wild.

The Wild clear some cap space to continue pursuing other needs, while the Sabres get a rugged defenseman that has three years left at a $4 million AAV in addition to a high-scoring winger that will come at a cost. Pominville, a former Sabre, comes with a cap hit of $5.6 million for the next two seasons. That fat contract, rather than his performance, is the biggest reason that Minnesota sought to deal Pominville. The 34-year-old had 47 points in 78 games last season and has amassed 261 goals in 905 NHL games.

Pominville spent the first 12 seasons of his career with Buffalo, and was captain for a spell in 2008.

Even after the deal the Sabres still have over $19 million in cap space. The team is reportedly working on getting star center Jack Eichel locked up long term.

The Wild are stacked on defense and struck a deal with Vegas to lay off their top five defenseman in the expansion draft, likely with this deal in mind. They shed $5 million in cap space but will likely pay to add the services of Foligno, a 228-lb winger that has the type of physical presence that the Wild were missing in the post-season this year. He becomes a restricted free agent today, and was previously signed at a $2.25 million cap hit.

The Wild need cap space to sign Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter to new deals. Both hit restricted free agency today, and both will come at a pretty high price tag after successful seasons.

According to Wild beat writer Michael Russo, the club wants to land a fourth-line center and a right-shot defenseman to replace Scandella.