One Buffalo. Two trades.

August 06, 2018 - 4:02 pm
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Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill stopped by Bills training camp last week. Perhaps the two men decided to bet on who could make a trade first. Botterill won when he acquired Jeff Skinner from Carolina on Thursday.  Beane didn't want to be left out though so he dealt for wide receiver Corey Coleman on Sunday.

There are some similarities in the two trades since both have an element of what have you got to lose. Both deals addressed a position of need for the respective teams and neither deal cost much.

The major difference is body of work/expectations.  Skinner is a proven goal scorer with 204 goals over his eight year NHL career.  He fills a number of needs including scoring left winger, a speedy forward and someone who can score five on five.  Skinner is tied for 7th in the NHL in five on five goals over the last three seasons.  I think he'd look very nice on the top line with Jack Eichel and I'll bet that possible pairing was one of the reasons why Skinner waived his no trade clause to come to Buffalo.

You might say its a bit of a gamble for Botterill since Skinner has just one year left on his contract and will then be an unrestricted free agent. But the price was not prohibitive even if Skinner is one and done.  Cliff Pu has had a couple of productive seasons in the Ontario Hockey League but wasn't considered a can't miss prospect.  The Sabres parted with three draft picks as well but Botterill hung on to all three of his first round picks in next year's draft.

Skinner makes the Sabres better right now.  If Botterill thinks he can't get Skinner signed to a long term deal or doesn't want to sign him long term, then Skinner goes on the market as a rental player at the deadline and you can get some picks back.

Coleman is also a what have you got to lose but while Skinner is expected to produce, Coleman is more of a crap shoot.  There's talent and ability which is why he was the 15th overall pick by Cleveland in the 2016 draft.  But Coleman has had two injury shortened seasons, an issue with drops and questions about his work ethic/dedication which is why the Browns traded him for almost nothing.  All Beane had to give up was a seventh round pick and it isn't even in next year's draft, its  for 2020.

The Bills desperately need help at receiver and a deep threat receiver at that.  Coleman ran a 4.39 at the NFL combine although hamstring issues have been a contributing factor in his lack of consistent big plays. 

The reports on Coleman coming out of Cleveland are not good but all it cost the Bills was a seventh round pick and Coleman is under contract for two more years with very affordable base salaries of $1.5 and $2 million. 

Its absolutely worth a shot by Beane and company.  Marquise Goodwin was always injured and not productive enough with the Bills but he played all 16 games for San Francisco last season and is now a big part of the 49ers offense. If Coleman pans out he could be the number two receiver behind Kelvin Benjamin.

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