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The Wraparound: Weighing what to pay Stamkos; McCabe scores; Vanek trade recap

Steven Stamkos could be the most sought-after free agent to hit the NHL market in years. Buffalo is expected to be interested. After all, who wouldn't be?

Bucky Gleason takes a look at why the Sabres should go after him -- and, of course, why they shouldn't.

"How much is Stamkos worth and where does he land?" Gleason wrote. "It depends on which teams need him and how much they value him? It’s a question Buffalo and Toronto must answer before they start shopping. Both need Stamkos more than Tampa Bay does. We’ll see how much they’re willing to spend."

Stamkos, meanwhile, could return to the Lightning lineup soon. It's unlikely, however, he'll play in Game Two  on Monday in Pittsburgh. Tampa holds a 1-0 series lead after winning the opener Friday night.

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St. Louis has opened with a 1-0 series lead after dropping San Jose, 2-1, Sunday night. Brian Ellis made 31 saves to shut down the Sharks.

The teams got off to a bit of a testy start.

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The United States is fielding a young team at the world championships. They're getting a lot of experience -- though not always the fun kind.

German scored with 35 seconds left Sunday to deal the Americans a 3-2 defeat. The U.S. team (3-3) would have locked up a spot in the quarterfinals with a victory. Instead, it plays Slovakia on Tuesday (5:15 a.m., NBCSN) with advancement on the line.

"We've just got to bounce back against Slovakia," Sabres and U.S. defenseman Jake McCabe said. "It's do or die now. We need that win, so it's all or nothing."

McCabe was the player of the game for the United States against Germany after scoring.

Slovakia is being captained by former Sabres blue-liner Andrej Sekera.

 

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The Sabres' 2013 trade that sent Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders looks even better now. The Isles have dumped the player that they later acquired for Vanek.

 

The deal can go even further if you want to throw in what the Sabres got for sending Moulson to Minnesota. Buffalo picked up Torrey Mitchell, and 2014 second-round pick and a 2016 second-round pick for Moulson and Cody McCormick. The Sabres still have the 2016 second-rounder. The others got dealt:

*The Sabres traded the 2014 second-round pick to Washington (which selected Vitek Vanecek) for a second-rounder (Eric Cornel) and a third-round pick (Brycen Martin).

*The Sabres sent Mitchell to Montreal for a 2016 seventh-round selection and minor-leaguer Jack Nevins.

So, in a round-about way, the Sabres got the services of Robin Lehner, Brendan Guhle, Matt Moulson, David Legwand, Torrey Mitchell, Eric Cornel, Brycen Martin and second- and seventh-round picks in the 2016 draft for Thomas Vanek.

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