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Trade: Panthers get Brandon Montour from Sabres for draft pick

Brandon Montour trade

BUFFALO, NY - APRIL 9: Brandon Montour #62 of the Buffalo Sabres skates against the Buffalo Sabres during an NHL game on April 9, 2021 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

With one of the NHL’s best records and a mountain of salary cap space at their disposal you have to figure that the Florida Panthers will be active before Monday’s NHL trade deadline.

They made their first addition on Saturday afternoon when they acquired defenseman Brandon Montour from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a 2021 third-round draft pick.

The 26-year-old Montour carries a salary cap hit of $3.850 million for this season and will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. In 39 games with the Sabres he has five goals and eight assists this season.

[More: ProHockeyTalk’s 2021 NHL Trade Tracker]

He has posted solid offensive numbers throughout his career but his defensive impact has never been great. Was that simply the result of playing on some bad Sabres teams throughout his career? Or is it just the limitations to his skillset? The Panthers are about to find out.

It is not a surprise to see the Panthers add a defenseman before the trade deadline after star blueliner Aaron Ekblad was injured two weeks ago. He is expected to miss 12 weeks.

The Panthers cleared even more salary this past week by trading Brett Connolly to Chicago.

For Buffalo it is the start of what figures to be a busy couple of days before Monday afternoon. The Sabres have the league’s worst record and are going to be a clear seller. The team has already made the decision to hold Taylor Hall out of the lineup as trade protection, while there are a handful of other players on the roster that could be available.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.