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Sabres’ Eric Staal Open to Trade, Four Contenders Potentially a Fit

Sabres’ Eric Staal reportedly completely open to a move out of Buffalo and to a Stanley Cup or playoff contending team.

Eric Staal Buffalo Sabres NHL

As per a report by David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, Buffalo Sabres center Eric Staal is more than open to the idea of being moved by the team and to a contender before this season’s NHL Trade Deadline comes and goes.

In their “Market Rumblings” segment, Pagnotta notes: “Eric has a 10-team no trade list but my understanding is that he’s completely open to a move out of Buffalo and to a playoff or Stanley Cup contender.” Pagnotta adds:

“Now obviously, things haven’t gone well in Buffalo, there’s no question about it, no sugar coating how rough of a season it’s been there, but he would certainly generate some interest from a number of contenders looking to shore up the center position.”

Pagnotta says Staal is totally open to it and now it’s simply in the hands of Sabres’ GM Kevyn Adams to find the right move before the trade deadline. While Adams did admit in a media conference last week that trades could be more difficult, we know Adams is open to making changes.

We also know that Staal would be an attractive add for many teams as he’s a pending UFA with a contract that is manageable for teams, especially if the Sabres retain some salary.

What Teams Make the Most Sense for Staal?

The Florida Panthers might be a fit as they’ve got a pretty good group down the middle, but the team is fighting with the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning in their division.

Eric Staal Buffalo Sabres
Eric Staal Buffalo Sabres

Another team could be the surprisingly successful Chicago Blackhawks. Few people would have figured the Blackhawks would be where they are or this productive, but as of now, they are a playoff contender. Their center depth isn’t as notable and Staal could really help add the veteran experience that could help. He could be the 3C, maybe even the second-line center there.

Finally, the St. Louis Blues could be an option as they’re dealing with some key injuries.

** Update: Oilers Now Interested

Add the Edmonton Oilers to this list. Pierre LeBrun reports during the most recent TSN Insider Trading segment that there has been some discussion among Oilers brass that Staal might be a fit for the team.

He adds that it would need to be dollar-in-dollar-out because Edmonton is near the cap, but if they could find a way to make that work, it sounds like Staal might be open to it.

Next: Ducks’ GM Clearly Annoyed by Getzlaf Trade Rumors

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