One of the teams heavily rumored to be among those that will be active as the February 24th trade deadline approaches is the Buffalo Sabres. In fact, they are one of the few teams that have already made some moves this season, sending Marco Scandella to the Montreal Canadiens and having acquired forward Michael Frolik from the Calgary Flames.
Sabres general manager Jason Botterill revealed on the air of WGR 550, they aren’t close to done. He explained that the Sabres do not have a desire to wait to conduct their trade business and that he’s ready and willing to add now to help his team push towards the playoffs.
Of where the team is at now, Botterill said:
We still have to improve. 100%. We’re not an elite team by any means. Should we be in a conversation for playoffs? Yeah, I think we certainly should be in that conversation. We can continue to talk about it, but we have to go out there and actually have the results.”
“We want to make trades. We’re looking to add to our group. … People ask, ‘are you waiting until the trade deadline for these type of deals?’ No.”
He added that the team is looking to add to their group but that a trade hasn’t materialized yet. He’s continually looking at options for the organization but he won’t say the team is close on anything. At least, not yet. “It hasn’t materialized, but we’ll continue to look,” he said.
The Sabres are just five points back of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference and playoffs are certainly a possibility. That said, they are one of those teams that if things go sour and a few losses in the next two or three weeks pile up, playoffs might be unlikely. Botterill doesn’t want to leave that to chance.
“Our focus here now is on the next few games here, see where it goes from the break, and then materialize from there.” As we noted at the start, expect the Sabres to be busy. Or, at least, expect their name to pop up in a lot of trade rumors over the next month.
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