Botterill hits home run with Scandella/Pominville trade

Botterill hits home run with Scandella/Pominville trade
Posted at 1:31 PM, Jun 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-30 13:31:38-04

Jason Botterill just made his first blockbuster deal as the GM of the Buffalo Sabres and he hit a home run. The deal sends defenseman Marco Scandella, winger Jason Pominville and a fourth-round pick to the Sabres, in exchange for Marcus Foligno, Tyler Ennis and a third round pick.

To most Sabres fans, Jason Pominville is the most recognizable name in the deal, but this move is all about acquiring Marco Scandella, a bonafide top-four defenseman.

Scandella, 27, played in 71 games last season, tallying four goals and adding nine assists. The numbers don't jump off the page, but he's not a player who will wow you with his offensive ability. However, he will impress with his ability to move the puck quickly and efficiently up the ice, while being steady in the defensive zone.

"Scandella is a nice, all-around defensemen," said Matthew Coller from 1500ESPN in Minnesota. "Fairly smart, fairly physical, he can produce offensively at five-on-five from time to time."

That kind of player is just what the doctor ordered. Buffalo's blueline has been abysmal during the Sabres last few seasons, ultimately causing the Sabres to flutter, especially in close games.

"He can give you some five-on-five points and he can drive the puck up ice a bit, he's a good enough skater," Coller added. "I think he's a great fit and might be a great partner for Rasmus Ristolainen."

As for the other guy in the deal, [OH NOW DO YOU BELIEVE?] Sorry, I had to, he'll be a welcomed player for the Sabres both on and off the ice. More likely than not Pominville will play a secondary role on the third line while helping on the Sabres second power play unit.

His $5.6 million cap-hit is a bit concerning but in hindsight, he's not that grossly overpaid, especially after coming off a 47-point season. I wouldn't expect that kind of numbers in Buffalo because he will likely won't be paired with Eichel or O'Reilly, but in his conference call this afternoon he said he can play in any situation and contribute.

Losing Foligno isn't ideal because of the physicality and versatility he brings to the game. Ennis needed a change of scenery after a few lackluster years in Buffalo. 

Botterill had a decision to make and decided to add the big, two-way defenseman Buffalo has needed for years. Like every trade, there are things to like and things to be curious about. Botterill did a nice job and there's still work to do but this move is another step in the right direction.