Kevyn Adams has made his playoff move.
The Sabres acquired Future Considerations in exchange for Anders Bjork in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday. While there’s no word on where Considerations could slot in the lineup, he could fit one of several needs.
The Sabres need a forward to take Alex Tuch’s place while he’s on IR, they need a powerplay defenseman with Rasmus Dahlin out with injury, and they could use a fourth goalie to put into the rotation with Eric Comrie, Craig Anderson and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. No word yet on which of these positions he’ll fill.
Alright, that’s enough of that. The real move was Adams’ trade for Minnesota Wild forward Jordan Greenway in exchange for a 2nd round pick in 2023 and a 5th round pick in 2024.
Greenway, 26, has spent the past six seasons with the Wild after being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2015 “McEichel” draft. An imposing physical figure at 6’6”, the Canton, New York native set a high-water mark in points per game in 2020-21 when he potted 6 goals and 26 assists in 56 games. His production has plummeted this year and it was clear that he needed a change of scenery.
Greenway likely couldn’t have asked for a better landing spot as has some familiarity with coach Don Granato during their time with the USNDTP. Greenway is signed to a reasonable $3m AAV through this season and the next two, according to capfriendly. In addition to his physical stature, and some potential offensive upside, Greenway possesses a strong defensive game:
Sabres management clearly believed that they needed to bolster a club that’s fighting for a playoff spot in a loaded Eastern Conference, and that their previous “big” trade deadline move to land depth defenseman Riley Stillman from the Vancouver Canucks was not enough. That move was so thoroughly underwhelming and disappointing that it made Darcy Regier’s acquisition of Bob Corkum look like the generational blockbuster trade of Wayne Gretzky. In the arms race of the east, the Sabres’ calvary were riding wounded horses into a tank fight.
Several teams vying for one of the two wildcard spots also elected to make moves over the past few days and weeks: Ottawa landed Jakob Chycrun, the New York Islanders previously traded for Bo Horvat, and the Pittsburgh Penguins landed Mikael Granlund and Nick Bonino. The Sabres needed to do something.
Most of the talk around the Sabres prior to the deadline that this year was not their year to trade for a rental, which is a reasonable and defensible position.
There were, however, players with term who could have helped the Sabres this year and in the future – players like the aforementioned Chycrun and Mattias Ekholm who were traded earlier this week. Make no mistake, the Sabres still lack a number 3/4 defenseman, and they will continue to lack a number 3/4 defenseman until they trade for or sign a number 3/4 defenseman. Greenway obviously doesn’t solve that problem, but he will likely factor into the Sabres’ plans for years to come.
Today’s move at least gives Sabres fans the perception that management is willing to reward the players on the team and the fans in attendance with a real move. Management had three second-round picks in this years draft and they opted to spend one of them to give the fan base a little bit of a jolt after 11 years without playoff hockey. That’s a positive bit of leadership from Adams whose repeated mantra has been to connect with the fans in Buffalo.
Even if this isn’t a huge, franchise altering trade, it’s a pleasant surprise that the Sabres were willing to do something, anything to upgrade their roster.