The NHL’s Trade Deadline means a lot of things for many different people.
For a general manager, it’s a chance to rebuild a struggling franchise, or stockpile assets for a playoff run.
For a player on an expiring contract, it could be an audition for a future employer to secure another deal.
For a struggling player, it could be the second-chance at proving yourself.
For fans, it’s simply about hope.
The deadline has become big business over the years, with television networks and media outlets spending countless hours and resources to sell this hope. As we countdown in anticipation of the 3 p.m. deadline on Monday, March 2, that hope will come in many forms.
It could be another blockbuster deal like the one Sabres GM Tim Murray masterminded on February 11, or it could simply be a housecleaning depth move. For every deal involving Evander Kane and Tyler Myers, there’s one that includes players like Mike Grier for Jakub Klepis (gesundheit!).
Whether big or small, some moves pay immediate dividends (see: Goring, Butch. 1980).
Others take time to develop. These could come in the form of a promising young player who can’t find his way into a star-laden lineup, or a draft pick that is likely nothing but a number to a team for years down the road.
The Buffalo Sabres have played the “hope” game many times over the years. Names like Presley, Juneau, Jillson, Heinze and Hamel have all found their way to Buffalo for one reason or another at the deadline. Some stuck around, others moved on. Some found success, while others became footnotes in franchise history.
Following is a look at the Top 10 trade deadline deals in Sabres history. Some of the deals left an indelible mark on the franchise, while two of them are still being played out.
In other words, there’s still hope.