Being a bottom-feeding team at the time of the trade deadline typically means that a team will be selling off “rental” players or aging players that deserve a chance to make a Cup run with a playoff team. The Buffalo Sabres have a few pieces on their roster that could fetch a decent return at or before the NHL trade deadline on March 21. The question remains, what would be a reasonable return for these players based on the current market?
Tyler Toffoli was recently traded from the Montreal Canadiens to the Calgary Flames for a first-round pick in 2022 (top 10 protected), a fifth-round pick in 2023, Tyler Pitlick, and Emil Heineman. That trade is the first domino to fall, but it also establishes the market in a lot of ways for how teams will swap their players. The Sabres do not have anyone quite up to the standard of Toffoli, but they do have a few rental pieces that should be moved prior to deadline day.
The Sabres initially acquired Colin Miller in exchange for a second-round pick in 2021 and a fifth-round pick in 2022 from the Vegas Golden Knights, but his numbers have been fairly average. This season, he tied his Sabres career-high of 12 points, but he has done it in 32 games while also being tasked with top-end minutes each night. His injury issues have kept him off the ice recently, but with his contract expiring at the end of 2021-22, the Sabres should move on from him, not to mention the fact that they have multiple young defenders ready to step into a full-time role next year.