Sabres land Evander Kane, Jets get Tyler Myers in megadeal
The Jets and Sabres are reportedly close to a mega-deal that would include Evander Kane and Tyler Myers.
According to a tweet from the Jets, Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian along with unsigned goalie prospect Jason Kasdorf have been traded from Winnipeg to Buffalo. In exchange, the Jets will receive a package that includes Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, prospects Brendan Lemieux and Joel Armia, and a 2015 first-round draft pick, which is reportedly the lowest of Buffalo's three first-round picks this year.
That's a huge haul for the Jets. It also marks the first NHL-player-for-NHL-player trade of Kevin Cheveldayoff's career as an NHL general manager. That's quite the splash for a first-timer.
The Jets appeared resigned to ending Evander Kane's time with the club after a rumored spat with teammates that included Kane missing a game against the Vancouver Canucks. Later that week, the forward opted for season-ending shoulder surgery. Considering the injury and the alleged character concerns, Kane's value looked to be in decline. This kind of return would suggest otherwise.
Myers, a former Calder Trophy winner as rookie of the year in 2009-10, is the major piece going the other way in the deal. The big defenseman has struggled in the years since his rookie campaign, but still has some upside to reach and has provided a relatively steady game in a dire situation in Winnipeg.
The 6-foot-8 defenseman has only 13 points in 47 games this season, but is only 25 years old with 365 games of NHL experience. He also is under contract through 2017-18.
Stafford also comes over in the deal as more of a rental as his contract expires after this season, but he should help provide scoring depth to a Jets squad with eyes on the playoffs. A one-time 31-goal scorer, Stafford is a career Sabre. He has 24 points in 50 games and could be a nice third-line addition.
The Jets were already going to be without Kane while in the midst of a playoff race, so there wasn't much they could do about replacing him this season. However, Myers would appear to be a slight upgrade over Bogosian, who will head back to his native state of New York (albeit the northern portion of the state) as part of the deal.
Bogosian has 13 points in 41 games this season and has provided some strong, tough defense for the Jets as part of their top four. He has averaged more than 22 minutes a night.
The Sabres gave up a lot, but they're getting an awful lot, too (and still have depth in their prospect system despite the trade departures).
In Kane, the Sabres get no relief this year as he remains on the shelf following shoulder surgery. The season is lost anyway and finishing with the worst record gives them a good crack at landing the No. 1 overall pick to select uberprospect Connor McDavid, assuming they win the draft lottery with the best odds to do so.
A former 30-goal scorer, Kane is a proven power winger with a good mix of offensive touch and general toughness most NHL GMs covet. He has 222 points in 361 career games.
Bogosian brings a veteran presence and as New York native, will certainly have some real appeal among fans. Both he and Kane have multiple years remaining on their contracts as well, with the 24-year-old Bogosian locked up through 2019-20 and 23-year-old Kane is signed through 2017-18.
Both Kane and Bogosian are former top-five NHL Draft picks. Kane was selected fourth overall in 2009, while Bogosian was taken third overall in 2008.
The Sabres also still have two first-round picks heading into the 2015 NHL Draft, so shedding the latest one won't sting as much.
Winnipeg can be pleased about the way the Kane deal also sets up for their future. Joel Armia is a former first-round pick, while Brendan Lemieux is a highly-regarded second-rounder currently playing for the Barrie Colts in the OHL. That first-round pick should also come in handy in a deep draft.
This year remains a bad one for the Sabres, but this makes things look at least a little brighter for the more immediate future. Meanwhile, this may not be a deal the Jets would have preferred to have to make, but they made a lot out of what had become an untenable situation without damaging their quest to make the playoffs this season.
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