BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Nathan Beaulieu reportedly wants out of Buffalo.
Nathan Beaulieu made a trade request to the Sabres management. Not playing much and it’s a contract year.— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) January 17, 2019
According to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports in Montreal the Buffalo Sabres defenseman has asked Sabres management for a trade. Lavoie adds that is a contract year for Beaulieu, and he is not playing as much as he would have hoped.
Beaulieu, 26, was acquired in the summer of 2017 in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens.
In 26 games with the Sabres this season Beaulieu has three goals, four assists and seven points. The former first-round pick is scheduled to be a healthy scratch Wednesday night when the Sabres take on the Calgary Flames.
Is anybody really surprised by the reported request from Beaulieu? Of course he wants to play and with unrestricted free agency lurking, it'll be difficult to earn what he believes is a fair contract if he's going to be a healthy scratch more often than not.
Although at times Beaulieu makes ugly mistakes, he has been much more consistent this season than he was in his first year with the Sabres. If it hadn't been for the emergence of rookie defenseman Lawrence Pilut, Beaulieu would likely be playing a lot more. But every time Pilut is removed from the lineup his absence is notable.
Sabres GM Jason Botterill is not commenting on this report about Beaulieu. https://t.co/hNZ3BPeNXj— Paul Hamilton (@pham1717) January 17, 2019
With Casey Nelson returning from injury and Matt Hunwick ready to go, the Sabres likely won't hesitate to move on from Beaulieu if they feel the deal makes sense for both sides. In years past, depth on defense has been a major issue. Although you can never have enough ready to go defenseman, this year the blue line is far deeper.