In case you missed it the Buffalo Sabres finally parted ways with center Ryan O’Reilly last night, shipping him to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Patrik Berglund, Vladimir Sobotka, Tage Thompson and draft picks.
TRADE: We’ve acquired forwards Tage Thompson, Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Sobotka, a 1st-round pick in 2019, and a 2nd-round pick in 2021 in exchange for Ryan O’Reilly.
O’Reilly had been linked to the Blues for weeks in trade rumors, but it was believed that the team’s signing of former Toronto Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak fulfilled their needs for an additional top six center, evidently not. Blues GM Doug Armstrong paid a steep price for O’Reilly, fending off other interested suitors with the strongest offer. Both the New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens are also believed to have been in negotiations with the Sabres to land O’Reilly, but the price was simply too high.
In fact, Canadiens insider Eric Engels of Sportsnet reports that Habs GM Marc Bergevin balked at Sabres GM Jason Botterill’s ask in exchange for O’Reilly.
Check it out:
Marc Bergevin said he was asked for three first-round picks for O’Reilly. Thought he was joking. Pretty sure he wasn’t.
Wow… that’s a hefty price tag. As much as the Blues paid to land O’Reilly, it’s clear to see why Habs GM Marc Bergevin declined to make a move on O’Reilly. The Habs are currently in the middle of a mini-rebuild, refresh or whatever you want to call it and are simply not in a good position to give up draft picks.
Could you imagine if Bergevin gave up three of his team’s first round picks in exchange for O’Reilly? The Habs ended up at the bottom of the standings in 2017-18 and ended up picking third overall in the draft. Again, could you imagine the team giving up three of those selections in exchange for O'Reilly? That would be a tough pill for Habs fans to swallow and it would likely mean the end of the Bergevin era in Montreal. Then again, a bonafide #1 center could legitimately boost the Habs into the playoff picture…
C’est la vie.
Source: Eric Engels
Photo Credit: Zuma Press