Fantasy Take: Montour Shuffles Off To Buffalo

by Ian Gooding on February 24, 2019

The Buffalo Sabres have acquired defenseman Brandon Montour from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Brendan Guhle and a first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

The Sabres may not be done, as there are rumblings that they have been discussing a trade that would send Rasmus Ristolainen to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Until we hear that rumor is a done deal, let’s assume that Ristolainen is staying. Even without a Ristolainen deal, another Sabres' defenseman not named Rasmus Dahlin could be on the move. 

Montour leads the Ducks’ defense in points (25), although his 33-point pace might seem underwhelming for a blueliner who many thought would take another step this season. Montour and Shea Theodore were once thought to be future power-play QBs of the defense, but now both are gone. It’s possible that GM-turned-coach (and former NHL defenseman) Bob Murray executed this trade because he didn’t believe that Montour’s offensive upside could make up for his inconsistent defensive play. If nothing else, the rebuild is really on in Anaheim.

Montour had been taking a backseat to Cam Fowler when it comes to first-unit power-play time, and he would assume a similar role behind Rasmus Dahlin and Rasmus Ristolainen (assuming he stays). For now, this should be viewed as a lateral move for Montour. If Ristolainen is in fact traded, Montour’s value could improve if he is moved onto the first power-play unit. The Sabres have at times used two defensemen on the first-unit power play this season.
 


See Guhle's Dobber Prospects profile

Guhle had been playing in the AHL, but he is expected to join the Ducks and could be in the lineup as early as Monday (Eric Stephens). Murray could try him on the second-unit power play, or it’s possible that he moves a more veteran defenseman such as Hampus Lindholm or Michael Del Zotto into that spot.

The Ducks’ power-play situation is due for a significant change. Their power play efficiency is 27th in the league, and Fowler has just two power-play points in 39 games. Either Guhle or Josh Mahura are potential long-term solutions, but it’s unlikely that either will make an impact this season.

Fantasy players this helps, in order:

Guhle

Lindholm (short term)

Del Zotto (short term)

Mahura (long term)

Fowler

Fantasy players this hurts, in order:

Ristolainen

Dahlin

Lawrence Pilut (keeps him in the AHL)

Fantasy owners are already discussing the deal on the Forum – give your take here!