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Beauchemin A Strong UFA Option For Sabres

June 30, 2015, 5:48 PM ET [33 Comments]
NHL news by Garth • RSSArchiveCONTACT

When Francois Beauchemin informed his GM Bob Murray that he was interested in pursuing the unrestricted free agent market, the GM moved in another direction.

Rather than re-signing with the Anaheim Ducks next season, Beauchemin will be a free agent.

Murray wasted little time finding Beauchemin's replacement. He immediately traded for Vancouver Canucks ass kicker Kevin Bieksa. That escalated quickly. Bieksa will be reunited with long time Canucks teammate Ryan Kesler. Bieksa had been rumored to be a trade target of the San Jose Sharks.

One Murray's loss may be another Murray's gain with regard to Beauchemin.

Sabres GM Tim Murray is looking to add a left shot D-man or two on Wednesday. Murray will either trade for D help or he will aggressively pursue a UFA or two.

Beauchemin fits the veteran, left shot D job description.

The asking price on Beauchemin is reportedly $5 million per season over 2-3 seasons.

The Ducks reportedly offered Beauchemin, the bedrock of the D corps a 1-2 year contract extension at less than $5 million per season. Thus he is looking for a new employer.

Beauchemin will add immediate credibility and battle experience to the Buffalo D corps.

Buffalo would be a great landing spot for Beauchemin. He would augment the veteran base of Zach Bogosian, Josh Gorges, and Mike Weber. He would also add stability and mentoring to younsters Rasmus Ristolainen, Mark Pysyk, and Jake McCabe. For the past couple of seasons, Beauchemin help guide and mentor young Ducks D Cam Fowler, Sami Vatanen, and Hampus Lindholm.

In 2013-14, Beauchemin averaged 23:05 TOI.

Last season, Beauchemin led the Ducks when he skated 22:44 TOI per game. He was +17. He scored 11 goals and added 12 assists.

Tim Murray has the cap space and isn't going to be afraid to use it. He certain can afford to add Beauchemin to the resurgent, blue collar, brawny Buffalo blue line.

Many contending teams, who have salary cap issues, may want to grab Beauchemin for his leadership and his character. However, will they be willing to pay him $5 million per year like Tim Murray will?

Beauchemin will not be playing for pennies on the dollar. I don't get the sense that he is willing to cut a discount to a contender say like Brad Richards did to play on the Blackhawks this seasons ($2 million salary).

Tim Murray and Dan Bylsma have to think long and hard about adding Beauchemin.


After the lift comes the let down.

Boy, does it ever!

Blackhawks fans must be depressed and dejected as hell right now. And, rightly so.

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman has traded away a player who he vowed to move heaven and hell to re-sign and keep in Chicago for multiple years. Brandon Saad is now a Columbus Blue Jacket. Yes. You read that correctly. Brandon Saad, the 21 year old power forward has been traded away to Columbus in a move that can best be described as perplexing.

Saad is set to earn $5 to $6 million on his new seven year contract. The prevailing thought was that Bowman would be clearing necessary cap space in order to create the $5-$6 million for Saad's new contract.

Saad, 22, recorded career-highs in goals (23), assists (29), points (52) and time on ice (17:15) in all 82 regular-season games with Chicago last season. He ranked third on the team in goals, fourth in points and fifth in assists; he was one of four Blackhawks to skate in all 82 games. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native added 11 points, including a career-best eight goals, in 23 postseason games with the Blackhawks en route to his second Stanley Cup championship (2013 and 2015). Saad, originally selected by Chicago in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft, has totaled 126 points (52G, 74A) in 208 career NHL games, all with the Blackhawks.

Bowman must have heard the foot steps of Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray. How else do you explain Bowman trading away the best young power forward in the NHL, two-time Stanley Cup winner Brandon Saad in a seven player blockbuster deal??

On the eve of unrestricted free agency, Bowman was tasked with having to make tough decision sin order to keep the core of his dynastic Blackhawks team intact. Patrick Sharp, Johnny Oduya, and Bryan Bickell are slated to be traded in the next day or so. All or some could be salary cap casualties.

Columbus is the second Buffalo Eastern Conference rival to traded away a franchise player restricted free agent in the past three days. On Friday, new Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney traded RFA Dougie Hamilton to the Calgary Flames. The cap-strapped Bruins also too must have smelled Tim Murray's breath on the back of their necks. How else do you explain the radical and ridiculous trading of arguably your number one D-man? A 21 year old #1 D-man at that? Today, Hamilton scored a six year, $34.5 million contract extension from Brad Treliving and the Flames. After the terms of Hamilton signing had been made official, several reports began to surface on Twitter suggesting that had they known Hamilton was on the trade block, that those GMs would have gladly paid Hamilton more than the $34.5 million he agree to with Calgary.

Two weeks ago at his pre-draft presser, Murray mentioned three ways that he would be going about improving his two-time 30th overall Buffalo Sabres team:

1. Trades
2. Draft
3. Possible Offer Sheets

Murray has quickly proven himself to be a Lake Erie boat gambler and a big game hunter.

On Friday, Murray traded the 21st overall pick in the NHL draft for his candidate to be number goalie Robin Lehner (David Legwand also included). Later that night, on the draft floor before the EichDavid Draft officially began, Murray made an blockbuster deal with Joe Sakic and the Colorado Avalanche. Two hundred foot terror Ryan O'Reilly and grinder Jamie McGinn were sent to Buffalo in exchange for Mikhail Grigorenko, Nikita Zadorov, J.T. Compher and teh 31st overall pick in the NHL Draft.

In February, Murray traded Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, Brendan Lemieux, Joel Armia, and a first round pick to teh Winnipeg Jets in exchange for Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian.

Murray's rebuild took a quantum leap forward when he drafted Samson Reinhart second overall last season and Jack Eichel second overall on Friday night.

The one secret weapon that Murray has threatened to use is the god forsaken offer sheet.

At his recent presser, Murray was asked about using a strategic offer sheet in order to steal a player away from a cap-strapped contending team like Chicago, Los Angeles, St. Louis or Boston. Murray said that the offer sheet is definitely an option that he and his scouting staff have discussed as a tool to help the Sabres expedite their stunning new extreme makeover from NHL cellar dweller to Stanley Cup playoff contending team. Murray simple smirked and said that he didn't care if he pisses off any of his NHL GM counterparts. In other word, offer sheets are legal because they have been collective bargained for and they are a too in Murray's box that he and other aggressive teams with salary cap space can use at their discretion.

Murray isn't worried about his reputation among his fellow NHL GMs. He is only concerned with making the Buffalo Sabres a Stanley Cup winning team. Like Clint Eastwood, Murray is a gun slinger.

If I am St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong right now, I am sleeping with one eye open because I am petrified that Tim Murray will be signing my Russian sniper rifle Vlad Tarasenko to a ginormous 7 year, $56 million offer sheet. Armstrong is in cap hell and could never match such an aggressive offer sheet if it were offered by Buffalo to Tarasenko.

The balance of power in the Eastern Conference is shifting with the recent improvements of Buffalo, Columbus, NY Rangers. Boston, Toronto, Ottawa, Detroit, Montreal, NY Islanders, Carolina, Florida, Tampa, Washington, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New Jersey have been quiet in the trade market. The free agent market is one of the shallowest in terms of talent in recent years.

Here is the official press release from the Hawks:

he Chicago Blackhawks announced today they have acquired forwards Artem Anisimov (AHR-tehm a-NEE-see-mawv), Marko Dano (DAN-oh), Jeremy Morin and Corey Tropp (TRAHP) and a fourth-round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for forwards Alex Broadhurst and Brandon Saad and defenseman Michael Paliotta.

Anisimov, 27, totaled 27 points (7G, 20A) in 52 games for the Blue Jackets last season. The Yaroslavl, Russia, native has 192 career points (86G, 106A) over 412 career NHL games with Columbus (2012-15) and the New York Rangers (2008-12).

Anisimov has represented Russia in multiple international competitions including the Olympics (2014), World Championships (2010, 2013, 2014 and 2015), World Junior Championships (2007 and 2008) and U-18 World Junior Championships (2006). He was selected in the second round (54th overall) by the Rangers in the 2006 NHL Draft.

Dano, 20, recorded 21 points (8G, 13A) over 35 games in his first NHL campaign with Columbus and 19 points (11G, 8A) over 39 games with the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League last season. The Eisenstadt, Austria, native previously tallied six points (2G, 4A) in 10 games with Springfield in 2013-14 and 12 points (6G, 6A) in 78 tilts with HC Slovan Bratislava of the KHL from 2012-14. Dano has represented Slovakia in the World Championships (2013 and 2015), World Junior Championships (2012, 2013 and 2014) and U-18 World Junior Championships (2011 and 2012). He was drafted in the first round (27th overall) by Columbus in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Morin, 24, collected six points (2G, 4A) in 43 games between Columbus and Chicago last season. The Auburn, N.Y., native was acquired via trade on Dec. 14, 2014, in exchange for defenseman Tim Erixon. Morin has 22 points (10G, 12A) in 82 career NHL games and 158 points (81G, 77A) in 208 AHL games, all with the Rockford IceHogs. Morin has represented the United States of America at the World Junior Championships (2010 and 2011) and U-18 World Junior Championships (2008 and 2009). He also participated in the United States National Team Development Program from 2007-09. Morin was drafted in the second round (45th overall) by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2009 NHL Draft.

Tropp, 25, notched eight points (1G, 7A) in 61 games for the Blue Jackets last season. The Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., native has amassed 27 points (6G, 21A) in 148 career NHL games with Columbus (2013-15) and the Buffalo Sabres (2011-14). He was selected in the third round (89th overall) by Buffalo in the 2007 NHL Draft.

Broadhurst, 22, tallied 14 points (6G, 14A) in 29 games with Rockford last season. The Orland Park, Ill., native has 59 points (22G, 37A) in 104 career AHL games. He was drafted in the seventh round (199th overall) by Chicago in the 2011 NHL Draft.

Paliotta, 22, registered an assist in his lone NHL game on April 11 vs. COL. The Westport, Conn., native previously totaled 83 points (19G, 64A) in four years at the University of Vermont. He was selected in the third round (70th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft
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