With just two days left before the 2021 NHL trade deadline, the Buffalo Sabres made their third trade of the season, trading defensemen Brandon Montour to the Florida Panthers. In exchange, Buffalo receives a third-round pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft.
Montour has played in 38 games this season with the Sabres, recording 14 points on five goals and nine assists. He was also a -13. Montour now is set to join one of the NHL’s leading teams in the Florida Panthers and should help them in their quest for a spot in the playoffs. This, of course, comes after defensemen Aaron Ekblad went down with a brutal season ending knee injury. Playing regular minutes and penalty kill time, Montour should add a skillset the Panthers are looking for in replacement of Florida’s alternate captain. In Buffalo, under interim head coach Don Granato, Montour showed improvement in his game, playing with confidence and adding a level of physicality as well.
This marks the third trade under GM Kevyn Adams, as we saw backstop Jonas Johansson traded to Colorado and centreman Eric Staal traded a few weeks ago to the Montreal Canadiens. With the NHL trade deadline looming, forward Taylor Hall looks to be the next one on the move, as he’s been a healthy scratch as a pre-caution for injury.
This season for the Sabres has gone completely backwards from what many had predicted it would look like. An 18-game winless streak, combined with injury, head coach Ralph Krueger being fired, back-to-back shutouts, regression in Rasmus Dahlin’s game under Krueger, the list can go on, but one thing this team was supposed to do this year, if anything, was score goals, and to say that the Buffalo Sabres didn’t do that enough would be an understatement.
There is hope that Jack Eichel can return before the season’s end, but it really doesn’t matter with the team dead last in the league and trending towards another top-three pick in the NHL Draft. Following Sunday’s game against the Flyers, Buffalo heads out to Boston, where they’ll take on the Bruins Tuesday at 7:00pmET. The game can be seen on MSG Buffalo and NESN, while it can also be heard on WGR 550.