Tage Thompson, Vladimir Sobotka, Patrick Berglund, a first-round pick this year as well as a second-round selection in 2021 to the Buffalo Sabres.

The Saint Louis Blues receive the erstwhile Lady Byng Trophy winner, a two-time All-Star, Selke Trophy nominee and recently crowned Stanley Cup Champion/Conn Smythe Winner. The compensation package I previously listed that the Blues received in return = one player. Ryan O’Reilly.

I will go out on a limb here and claim that St.Louis won this trade. Usually, I would claim that we will not know who won a trade for several years. That said since the Blues won the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history in which O’Reilly was officially the playoff MVP, realistically one can contend no matter what happens long term, The Blues are winners. You win the Cup, you win the trade. It is that simple. Especially if you are a team that was chasing a very first Lord Stanley.

It is fine that O’Reilly took home the biggest team award as well as adding to his personal hardware for his fireplace mantle. I would have voted for Tuukka Rask who was simply a rock between the pipes as his .934 playoff save percentage cannot be fabricated. The fact that it came down to game seven always makes me feel the MVP should go to who you would have voted for each night of the extremely long second hockey season, and not look at the regular season or who won game seven in the playoffs. O’Reilly is not a bad choice, just not the best player of the entire playoffs.

Binnington’s .914 save percentage will not be remembered, but his Stanley Cup certainly will. Ryan Miller was amazing and voted the 2010 Olympic hockey MVP, but falling short of Gold is often remembered.

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The NHL has not awarded the Conn Smythe to a player on a team failing to make it to the finals. A handful of players who fell short of winning Lord Stanley indeed have been named playoff MVP which is refreshing. Jean-Sebastian Giguere took home the Conn Smythe in 2003 in a losing effort of the Cup. Ron Hextall accomplished the same task in 1987 as well as fellow goalies Glenn Hall of the Blues in 1968 and Roger Crozier in Hockey Town in ’66.  Reggie Leach is the only non-goalie to win the Playoff MVP for the losing team as he did in 1976.

I do recall watching Giguere and Hextall accomplishing that rare victory while falling short of winning the Stanley Cup, as they both stood on their heads night after night. Not unlike Tuukka Rask.

The fact is the Sabres (1970) have been in existence for almost the same amount of time as the Blues (1967) with no Stanley Cup championship victories. If the Sabres ever actually do win the Cup, it is impervious to say that any deal resulting in securing the player being the playoff MVP, is an automatic win for that trade.

So, if any of the players Buffalo received turn things around after being insignificant this past season, then we can re-evaluate. In addition, if any player is acquired with those draft assets or if any part of said trade resulted in gaining the playoff MVP, then advantage Buffalo. Bottom line, if the given trade has any impact resulting in the blue and gold being crowned champs, the trade winner will be Buffalo.

If both teams won Cups as the trade, Trade Winner= SABRES. No explanation needed. No questions. “Ooh, AhSabres on the Warpath.” Is it sneaking out that I am a Sabres fan? I digress.

Things we know about the Buffalo Sabres this week:

  • So much top story level Sabres news. New coach. They locked up Jeff Skinner up. He is a very wealthy young man. You heard it here first.
  • Mike Bales has been announced as the goalie coach. Bales has six seasons at the NHL level coaching, most recently spending two seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes. His most famous accomplishment was his direct scouting and developing of Matt Murray, Stanley Cup-winning goalie who unseated Marc-André Fleury in Pittsburgh.
  • Don Granato has been hired as an assistant coach in the Queen City after spending the previous two seasons as an assistant in the Windy City. He was an associate head coach at the University of Wisconsin as well as the head coach of the AHL farm team of the current Stanley Cup Champions in St. Louis.
  • Ralph Krueger has retained Steve Smith from Housley’s staff.

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