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Should the Sabres go after Brock Boeser?

Canucks may be exploring a trade

Over the past weekend, there were some rumors going on after Rick Dhaliwal from The Athletic tweeted that the Canucks were considering trading Brock Boeser:

The Canucks may have other ways of alleviating some of that pressure, but it does make you wonder if Kevyn Adams considers this as his potential first big trade.

Boeser’s cap hit is just under $6M for each of the next two seasons, and at 23 years old, he has been performing well. He has point totals of 55, 56, and 45 in the last three seasons, and he has missed time in each of those three. He’s totalled 161 points (75 goals, 86 assists) in 197 career games.

The Canucks drafted him 23rd overall in the 2015 draft.

Boeser is already a two-time 20-goal scorer, topping out at 29 goals in 2017-18. He’s not an elite player and he has been playing on a line with Elias Pettersson.

The chart above shows he has been relatively average in these categories, but he can still score and dish out assists.

What could Buffalo offer?

Adding a 6’1″, 208-pound winger to the top six would be a big add, but the Sabres would have to send a very convincing offer, especially with other teams probably doing the same thing.

If the Canucks are trying to offload salary, they’re probably not going to want to take on salary.

If this is true, then this is absolutely the starting point. I don’t dislike Ristolainen, but it may finally be time to move on, especially if there’s a team interested.

The Canucks already have Alexander Edler at $6M for another year, along with Tyler Myers at $6M for another four. I’m not sure if they’d take on Ristolainen ($5.4M) for two more years.

Other notable pieces the Sabres could include would be Brandon Montour and Casey Mittelstadt.

Montour is a restricted free agent, so the Canucks would have to get him signed. Montour’s cap hit was $3.4M last year and he’s still only 26 years old so he has room and time to improve.

Mittelstadt has been slowly losing that exciting prospect status that he once had. His brutal 2018-19 season with the Sabres (25 points in 77 games) was tough to watch. The Sabres sent him to the AHL this past season where he scored 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists) in 36 games.

There’s hope that Mittelstadt can find his game and improve, but there’s a chance he may continue to fizzle out. The Sabres may be wise to take the risk and trade him now for a proven winger.

The other big bargaining chip the Sabres have is the 8th overall pick in the upcoming draft. Whether Adams would want to trade that pick or keep it is unknown, but if the Canucks don’t want Risotlainen, I think they’d want this pick, if not both.

If I’m Adams, I’d be on the phone with Vancouver about this, starting with an offer such as Ristolainen and Mittelstadt for Boeser.

If the Canucks aren’t interested in Ristolainen, I’m making an offer of Mittelstadt, Montour, and a 4th-round pick.

What do you think and would you want the Sabres to go after Boeser if he is indeed available?

UPDATE:

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