The 2023 NHL Draft Lottery will be held on Monday, May 8, at 8 pm ET. Only the 16 teams that failed to qualify for the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs are eligible and only the top 11 seeds have the opportunity to win the first overall selection.
Meanwhile, the trade rumor mill is grinding back into action involving teams that failed to qualify for the postseason and those eliminated from the opening round.
Teams not participating in the postseason are allowed to make trades among themselves over the course of the 2023 playoffs. Most general managers will likely wait until the playoffs have ended to make their moves, likely in the days leading up to the draft in Nashville. They’ll use this time to start laying the groundwork for potential trades.
Some of the speculations involve non-contenders like the Buffalo Sabres looking to bolster their rosters for next season. Others involve players on recently eliminated playoff clubs like the Winnipeg Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois.
Is any of the speculation worth buying into or rejecting? That’s what we’ll determine with our take on the latest trade rumors.
Which Defensemen Could The Buffalo Sabres Target This Summer?
Inconsistent goaltending and a porous defense cost the Buffalo Sabres a shot at reaching the playoffs this season for the first time since 2011. Despite sitting third overall in goals per game (3.57), their 3.62 goals-against per game was the seventh-highest.
The Sabres could add an affordable veteran goaltender on a short-term contract to mentor young netminders Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and Devon Levi. The Buffalo News Lance Lysowski also anticipates they’ll look to bolster their blue line via the trade or free-agent markets.
Lysowski listed several potential free-agent options for the Sabres. They include the Minnesota Wild’s Matt Dumba, New Jersey Devils’ Ryan Graves, New York Islanders’ Scott Mayfield or Seattle Kraken’s Carson Soucy.
Turning to the trade market, Lysowski’s suggested options include the Calgary Flames’ Rasmus Andersson, Chicago Blackhawks’ Connor Murphy or Vegas Golden Knights’ Shea Theodore.
Verdict: Buy on the free agents, sell on the trade targets
The Sabres are a promising club with exciting young talent. They possess plenty of salary-cap space to sign a free agent who might be keen to skate alongside a rising defense star like Rasmus Dahlin or Owen Power.
Andersson and Theodore, however, are unlikely to be available in the trade market. They are invaluable top-four blueliners with their respective clubs. Chicago is rebuilding its roster and could entertain offers for Murphy. However, the 30-year-old has a long injury history.