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Sabres Almost Traded Tage Thompson Before Breakout Season

There’s a story out there that the Buffalo Sabres almost traded Tage Thompson ahead of his breaking out in the NHL. Can you imagine?

The Buffalo Sabres have made some questionable decisions over the past few years. One of their best was trading for Tage Thompson, a deal that almost looked like a loss until Thompson broke out and this season became one of the NHL’s most dynamic players. Thankfully the Sabres waited for him to develop, but they almost made a monumental, franchise-altering mistake. According to two media members who heard a story on his development, Buffalo almost pulled the trigger to send Thompson elsewhere.

Jamie McLennan and Bryan Hayes were having a conversation about regrettable trades and during that chat on TSN Overdrive, both mentioned they’d heard the same story about how the Sabres almost traded Tage Thompson before he broke out and signed a long-term contract in Buffalo. The Sabres look like geniuses now, but apparently, they almost gave up on Thompson, dumping him for anywhere between a third and fifth-round draft pick.

Hockey World Reacts to Tage Thompson’s 5 Goals, 6-Point Night

McLennan said he didn’t want to speak out of turn because he didn’t know all the details of the story, but he’d heard that Thompson was almost traded. Hayes immediately said he heard that same story and that Buffalo almost dumped Thompson for a third-round pick (McLennan heard it was like a third or a fifth). McLennan then said, “Buffalo would deny it now obviously.” He then added, “Like, can you imagine? This kid is six foot seven, he’s got range. I watched him live the other day… He’s kind of arrived. I think what he’s realizing is that in today’s game, he can use his size. He can use his strength, and he can use his shot.”

Thompson has clearly figured it out and has arrived. He scored his third hat trick of the season on Friday night and he has 30 goals in 36 games in 2022-23. He was chosen as an All-Star and his new contract is looking like an absolute bargain.

Next: Edmonton Oilers’ Quick Hits: Campbell, Hyman & McDavid

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