A National Hockey League insider has just proposed a trade that could benefit both of the teams involved, and one that could add a juicy new layer to what has already been a fairly intense rivalry.
On Friday the Buffalo Sabres made a big trade when they picked up defenseman Colin Miller from the Las Vegas Golden Knights in what can only be described as a salary dump for the Golden Knights. The move gave the Buffalo Sabres another quality defenseman on a blue line that already had a surplus of bodies and the speculation since the move has been that the writing is on the wall for former Buffalo Sabres first round pick Rasmus Ristolainen.
There have been some reports that the rumors surrounding Ristolainen have been exaggerated, however on Saturday Buffalo Sabres insider John Vogl of The Athletic stated that he expects the talk around Ristolainen to pick up considerably following the move for Miller. Additionally Vogl believes that acquiring an NHL ready center will be at the top of Buffalo's list of priorities when it comes to a return for Ristolainen and as a result he believes 3 teams are in the mix. Vogl believes the Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs could all be a fit, but his comments in regards to a trade with the Leafs were by far the most interesting.
Vogl proposed a trade in his most recent article, a trade that would see two players who have been bitter rivals swapped for one another. From Vogl:
Dealing Ristolainen to Toronto would certainly add spice to the Sabres’ biggest rivalry. Center Nazem Kadri has had memorable battles with Ristolainen, and it would be fitting if they swapped jerseys and kept fighting. The 28-year-old center, who sits behind John Tavares and Auston Matthews on the depth chart, has a modified no-trade clause that allows him to exclude 10 teams from a deal. He might need convincing to go to Buffalo.
Kadri of course has been under the microscope ever since earning himself another major suspension during the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. There have been many who have suggested that Kadri's time in Toronto could come to an end as a result of his being a liability for the team in the postseason, and that combined with Toronto's needs on the blue line would certainly make a deal for Ristolainen a good fit.
This may simply be wishful thinking on the part of Vogl, but it would certainly add an interesting new wrinkle to the battles between the Leafs and Sabres moving forward.