Draft day has arrived with a bang! Tim Murray has dealt the 21st overall pick like so many expect but not for who we may have expected.
The Sabres have dealt the 21st overall pick to the Ottawa Senators for 23 year old goaltender Robin Lehner and 34 year old David Legwand. The Sabres will take the full salary of Legwand who is set to make far too much for his production now a days. The main part of the trade though was to get our starting goalie. Many including myself expected the Sabres to land either Eddie Lack or Cam Talbot in a potential trade but this move makes a lot of sense when you take a look back.
Murray himself scouted Robin Lehner before the Senators drafted him. Murray was with Ottawa when they selected Lehner. He won MVP after winning the Calder Cup in 2010 for the Binghamton Senators and has a lot of upside being that he is only 23 years old. A athletic goalie that has tremendous vision and size, has a quick glove hand but often gets caught in bad situations due to technique, but that will be fixed as he develops as a starting goalie. He is a very confident goalie that has a mean streak. If you go into his crease you are going to pay.
Lehner has a career .914 save percentage and a 2.88 goals against average in the NHL. The production hasn't come yet but as this young team grows, so will Lehner.
Nobody needs to understand this trade except for Tim Murray. Maybe Murray called about Talbot and Lack who's prices were just too high. Or he simply values Lehner more than either of the two. After all Lehner is 4 years younger than Talbot and 8 years younger than Lack. Overall this was a smart trade, but taking on David Legwand's contract just doesn't make any sense.
There is no way Murray ends up paying Legwand in full and keeps Hodgson's contract on the cap. Expect Hodgson to be bought out soon.
Looks like the Sabres have their goalie for 2015 and beyond. Great thing for Buffalo is Lehner's contract goes for another 4 years.
Overall I give this trade a B, I don't like giving up the first round pick but that is the price to pay in order to get a young up and coming goalie.
The media has not been able to talk to Murray after the trade so this may mean Murray is scheming up another potential trade. Ryan O'Reilly?