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Thread: Roundtable Reaction: Sabres acquire Brandon Montour from Ducks

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    Roundtable Reaction: Sabres acquire Brandon Montour from Ducks

    I didnt know shit about this guy, so here's some stuff from behind The Athletic pay wall:

    Itís​ been a crazy​ few days as​ Mondayís 3 p.m. trade​ deadline​ draws​ near,​ with the​ market​ heating​ up​ in a big way,​​ teams like Columbus going all-in with a couple of big acquisitions and basically anyone who is anyone being scratched for the Ottawa Senators. The latest deal to go down? A Ducks-Sabres swap that has Buffalo acquiring 24-year-old defenseman Brandon Montour and sending back 21-year-old defense prospect Brendan Guhle and a conditional 2019 first-round pick.

    We asked a collection of our NHL experts at The Athletic to break down the elements of the trade. Each writer was asked to give the trade an impact score between 1-5, with one being a minor deal and five a blockbuster. Hereís how they assessed the deal and its overall impact:

    JOSH COOPER: Montour was a weapon that I felt the Ducks never properly utilized. He was a great skater who had excellent passing skills and a phenomenal shot. It was almost like his skill set was too unique for them to fully figure out.

    I think heíll really flourish in Buffalo with a fresh start. Heíll give the Sabres yet another puck-moving defenseman. Meanwhile, the Ducks did turn him into two assets between Brendan Guhle and a first-round pick. But if I was looking to deal a blueliner, he wouldnít have been the guy I would have traded.

    Impact Score: 3

    JOHN VOGL: Guhle was once the Sabresí top defensive prospect, a guy who made such a first impression that Buffalo signed him a month after drafting him. Since 2015, Rasmus Dahlin, Marco Scandella and Lawrence Pilut have flown past him on the left-side depth chart.

    Enter Montour, who fills a need on the right side. He played on all three pairings in Anaheim. And heís a playmaker, which coach Phil Housley needs for his system. The pick surrendered will be late in the first round, so this gives Buffalo a needed player now. They still have two first-rounders, too.

    Impact Score: 3.5

    ERIC STEPHENS: Trading Montour to Buffalo for Guhle and a first-round pick in this Juneís draft is Anaheim GM Bob Murray not waiting until this summer to make a significant shake-up to his disappointing team.

    Anaheim could be burned in the long run if the risk-taking Montour turns into a 50-point defenseman. But Murray and his staff also wondered if heíd smooth out the big swings in his play. A recent drop to the third pairing and well-traveled veteran Michael Del Zotto getting more and more ice time was becoming an ominous sign.

    Guhle can skate but doesnít have Montourís offensive upside. The key going forward is how Murray manages that extra first-round selection acquired in the deal, along with what could be a top-10 pick in their own pick.

    Impact Score: 3

    CRAIG CUSTANCE: For as much as teams are constantly scouring the league for good, young defensemen, itís pretty amazing how many have gone the other way out of Anaheim in recent years. The Ducks lost Shea Theodore in the expansion draft process. They traded Sami Vatanen to get Adam Henrique. And now Montour is gone, in part because he was one of the few moveable contracts that would bring back a strong return. The net gain on these Ducks defensemen deals hasnít been great but this one has the potential to be the most fruitful.

    From a Buffalo perspective, this is smart. GM Jason Botterill is trading from his surplus of picks not on a rental but on a 24-year-old, right-shot defenseman who provides offense on a reasonable contract. Those arenít easy to find. You canít help but wonder how many other potential buyers might prefer to follow that strategy.

    Impact Score: 4

    SCOTT WHEELER: Montourís season fits into some kind of weird juxtaposition in that he has played a ton (his 22:40 average ice time ranks 36th among all NHL defensemen) but with really poor results, both in terms of raw outcomes and possession.

    Part of that can certainly be attributed to the Ducksí failure to be even reasonably good, and Randy Carlyleís coaching style and structure Ė neither of which protects defensemen from being shelled. There are redeeming raw tools in Montourís game and heís still reasonably young at 24, but that doesnít mean heís magically going to turn around his results in a different system.

    And the price paid isnít insignificant. A first-rounder is a first-rounder, even if the Sabres have insulated themselves well with high picks. This feels rushed, when the long game provides safety for a dependable future. It seems, to me, a high price to pay for a defender who may not give you what youíre hoping he gives you. The loss of Guhle isnít a major factor (heís a fine young AHL defenceman who may become a low-pairing defender in the NHL) but the first-round pick seems a lot.

    Impact Score: 2

    DOM LUSZCZYSZYN: At first blush, I was befuddled by a team unlikely to make the playoffs trading a first-round pick and an OK prospect for a defenseman from one of the leagueís worst defensive teams. That the pick being traded is not Buffaloís own 2019 first makes the deal slightly more palatable, especially for a team desperate for defensive help, though still likely a slight overpay for a player who doesnít really move the needle at 5-on-5.

    To his credit, Montour is a very strong puck-mover Ė a valuable trait thatís sorely missing from Buffaloís back end from every defender not named Dahlin Ė but his play-driving results have been rather pedestrian despite his skill set. Montour is on pace for back-to-back 30-point seasons, but thatís mostly due to opportunity. At 5-on-5, his points-per-60 of 0.76 over the past two seasons ranks 107th. Combine that with his average or worse possession numbers and it paints Montour as a decent second-pairing defender, nothing better, but nothing worse either.

    Thatís a player the Sabres could definitely use as they aim to become competitive, but still likely an overpay especially considering how promising Guhle looked last season (and who hasnít received much of a chance this season).

    Impact Score: 3

    SCOTT BURNSIDE: I must admit I donít really get the motivation for Murray to unload a 24-year-old, right-hand shot defenseman who was averaging almost 23 minutes a night in ice time and still has another year on his contract before becoming a restricted free agent. Maybe he felt he really had no other options in trying to shake up his moribund Ducks roster. But I really get why Botterill was more than happy to take on such a player in Montour.

    The Sabres not only get a talented player who can step in and help this team perhaps make a late push to the playoffs this year but can also become a fixture on a Sabres blue line that already has lots of attractive pieces but needs to get better. The Sabres gave up a prospect in Guhle and a first-round pick (either St. Louisí or San Joseís but not their own) but they were trading from a position of strength in that regard and so it is an acceptable risk.

    It will be interesting to see how Montour responds to playing on a team that has lots of speed and youthful talent, including Dahlin, with whom he may end pairing with. My guess is this is a game-changer for Montour and maybe the Sabres, too.

    Impact Score: 3.5

    KATIE STRANG: Montour is under contract until 2020, comes at a reasonable price tag, fills a need for Buffalo, can log significant minutes on the back end and can chip in offensively; he has five goals and 25 points in 62 games this season for the Ducks. Giving up a first-round pick is steep but we all know that thereís an insane premium on right-handed defensemen at this time of year.

    Guessing the Sabres feel this is a young guy who will turn out to be the beneficiary of a change of scenery, and you certainly canít rule that out given the way Anaheim has played this season. Additionally, Montour can certainly eat up minutes, considering heís averaging almost 23 minutes for game this season for Anaheim, but there are at least some underlying numbers that should provide some cause of concern.

    This is a steep price, in my opinion, but the Sabres had a trio of first-round picks so can afford to take a gamble here, particularly considering this isnít a rental.

    Impact score: 3

  2. Rock on:

    Angry Byrds (02-25-19),The Grin (02-25-19)

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    Range Member Very Wide Right's Avatar
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    I don't know what to think about this until I get TRUMPs reaction

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