Panthers acquire Brandon Montour from selling Sabres
Brandon Montour is on the move.
The Florida Panthers have triggered a corresponding transaction after creating cap space in the lead-up to the trade deadline, landing Montour, a 26-year-old defenseman, from the Buffalo Sabres for what's believed to be a third-round pick.
Montour will eat up the money previously carved out for forward Brett Connolly, who was shipped to the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday afternoon in a cap-clearing manoeuvre.
Though he's had his issues with the Sabres (who hasn't?) this season, Montour has improved his performance in recent weeks, and can fill some of the void left by injured star blue liner Aaron Ekblad. Montour is an exceptional skater with plus puck-moving ability, and four goals and nine of his 14 points this season have come in the last nine games.
Montour will bring the Panthers close to the salary cap ceiling, but it seems there are plenty of possibilities, still, as rookie general manager Bill Zito looks to reinforce his first-place team. It's believed the Panthers are looking to find a buyer for veteran defenseman Anton Stralman, while it's also possible that over-performing backup Chris Driedger could be sent out the door as well.
Meanwhile Buffalo will do everything it can to continue to sell off assets over the next 48 hours before the NHL's team-to-team transaction cutoff. Rookie general manager Kevyn Adams has now secured selections in the second, third and fifth rounds with Montour and veteran center Eric Staal packaged away, and former MVP Taylor Hall is likely to be moved as well.
Montour was originally acquired for a first-round draft selection and second-round prospect Brendan Guhle, which paints a pretty accurate picture of Buffalo's asset management in recent seasons.
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