Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) – Sportsnet hockey insider Elliotte Friedman made his weekly Thursday appearance on WGR Sports Radio 550 during "The Instigators" with Andrew Peters and Craig Rivet. Friedman revealed that Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams met with Don Granato on Wednesday.
“I know they had a conversation about where things are headed," Friedman said. "I don’t think there’s a final decision yet, but I know they met yesterday.”
The reason, I believe, the meeting happened is Adams knew that Rod Brind’Amour is staying in Carolina, which was made official on Thursday. It's one of the reasons this process has gone on as long as it has for the Sabres.
Friedman also said Thursday talks between the Sabres and other teams about a potential Jack Eichel trade is “heating up.” He also thinks the Sabres' preference is to trade Eichel to the Western Conference.
“Some of the Eastern teams I’ve spoken to say that they can tell that the Sabres are not as thrilled with the idea of him being in the same division and or conference. Some of the Eastern teams believe that if they’re going to get him, it’s really going to cost them,” Friedman said.
For me, I go with the best offer and I couldn’t care less if that comes from a team in the division. If that is the best offer by far, you take it.
Friedman also believes there’s a lot of talk about trading Sam Reinhart too.
“I think Anaheim [Ducks] is in on both players," he said. "Now I don’t think they’d get both, but I do think that Anaheim has talked about both Reinhart and Eichel.
“I think Columbus [Blue Jackets] is a team that has really looked hard at Reinhart, but I think there’s several. I think the difference between Reinhart and Eichel are the injury status, and some teams like that Eichel is signed and some teams like that they can deal with Reinhart themselves. So there’s different comfort levels with both players.”
Friedman said he’s been told that Rasmus Ristolainen could be included in a trade with one of the two players.
It’s been mentioned that in either one of these trades, the Sabres could acquire another first round pick in this year’s draft.
"The Sabres don't seem to be incredibly intimidated about this draft," Friedman said. "There are a lot of teams that are really wary of this draft, because they haven't seen a lot of the players. Apparently what [the Sabres] have said is, 'We can get a second high pick because of that, and we better know the players. We better make sure we're on top of this.' I think there are teams out there who might not value their picks as much as they have in other drafts or would next year simply because of the added crapshoot this draft is going to be."
Jerry Forton is now the Sabres' director of amateur scouting and will be in charge of the draft, along with associate general manager Jason Karmanos.
In 2019, many thought the Sabres were going to take Trevor Zegras at No. 7, but took Dylan Cozens instead. The Ducks grabbed Zegras with the No. 9 pick, and now many want him to be traded to Buffalo if Eichel goes to Anaheim.
Friedman said Columbus wanted Zegras if they were going to trade Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Ducks, but Anaheim refused both Zegras and the sixth overall pick in 2020, defenseman Jamie Drysdale, in that trade. Both players have appeared in 24 games with the Ducks.
Zegras had three goals and 10 assists for 13 points during his time with the Ducks. The 20-year-old netted 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points in 17 games with the San Diego Gulls in the American Hockey League.
In case you missed any of Friedman's interview during "The Instigators," you can listen to it below: