It has become quite easy to read in between the lines when a NHL general manager talks about a potential trade or a pending free agent looking to re-sign with the club. But sometimes, it cannot get any clearer than that...
Buffalo News' John Vogl sat down with Buffalo Sabres GM Jason Botterill to discuss the future of top forward Evander Kane. Though Botterill is very pleased with the play of the left winger, who is the club’s only consistent scorer this season, the GM clearly hinted that the 26-year-old forward could be move before the trade deadline.
Botterhill used the blockbuster trade between the Anaheim Ducks and New Jersey Devils yesterday, as an example.
"That's the balancing act you're always going to get, just like you saw with the trade today," the GM said. "I'm sure if you talk to both those teams, they're excited about the players they got, but it's also disappointment about the players you have to let go. That's always the things you're looking at, trying to find that mix."
The Sabres have multiple roster needs and risk losing Kane to free agency in July. If Buffalo trade Kane, it loses the team's best scorer with no guarantee of getting back a return than will significantly improve the Sabres.
But Botterhill cannot risk losing Kane next summer for nothing. Maybe the GM's example and indecisiveness are sign that Kane will end up elsewhere before Feb. 26.
In 25 games this season, Kanes has amassed 12 goals and 23 points.