Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill has said it himself: the team is open for business as they currently sit in 30th place in the National Hockey League with a poor 8-18-7 record.
On Friday, NHL Insider Darren Dreger took on the air of Buffalo WGR 550 and noted that some teams have been kicking tires on centre Ryan O'Reilly and asking Botterill on his availability.
The Sabres GM could intend to keep the forward unless the center asks to be dealt. While O’Reilly lacks no-trade protection, his $7.5 million annual average value through 2022-23 is quite steep for teams on the market.
While Evander Kane is expected to be moved before the Feb. 26 trade deadline, Dreger did note that there’s no indication the Sabres are shopping O'Reilly or that a deal is imminent.
However, with the Sabres' woes and the 26-year-old forward could be looking to get a shot at a championship sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, Botterill is expected to wait closer to the trade deadline to drive up the asking price on Kane, while he waits to see what O'Reilly will decide to do.