Buffalo Sabres, Steve Ott, and an NHL Trade Deadline?
John Vogl of The Athletic (mailbag): Again, the Steve Ott question is asked as Kevyn Adams has now made a move. Most believe Buffalo may opt for a younger coach insulated by veteran assistants. However, Buffalo surprises many pundits often so expect the unexpected.
The idea of trading Taylor Hall needs more time — basically, does Hall want to stay in Buffalo? No one knows that answer just yet. A Hall trade remains very likely but closer to the end of March or early April. Any trade involving Jack Eichel likely does not get done until later and must involve some top talent and a first-round pick at a minimum. That will not happen now.
Unfortunately, Kevyn Adams got thrown to the wolves and needs help. Until he gets that, Buffalo will continue to twist and spin even around this NHL Trade Deadline. That’s a sobering thought for Buffalo fans but salivating for contenders this playoff season.
Washington Capitals and the Trade Deadline
Tarik El-Bashir of The Athletic: What is Washington looking for come April 12th or sooner? Team defense and goaltending are the usual issues even during an 11-2-1 stretch.
Goaltending became a question mark with Ilya Samsonov. Between an off-season, ATV accident, and COVID during the season doubts lingered about his short and even long-term prospects in Washington. It seems Washington will keep him but they still poke around for a veteran goalie.
Washington’s cap situation resembles most top teams. They are right against it and due to LTIR allotments, any deal must be dollar-in and dollar-out. On other fronts, Michal Kempny expects to return next season as he rehabs from an Achilles injury and surgery. Alex Ovechkin talks remain quiet and likely something gets done in the summer.
Players like Connor McMichael, Garrett Pilon, and Joe Snively are knocking on Washington’s doorstep eventually. When does Washington start utilizing their AHL surplus is the question too? The tight cap hinders this ability and is partially why Washington is focused on the now and not 2021-22.