In a big trade on the eve of free agency, the Sabres acquired another defenseman and a former captain.
The Sabres have traded forwards Marcus Foligno and Tyler Ennis, plus a draft pick, to the Minnesota Wild for Marco Scandella and Jason Pominville. The Wild also get the Sabres' third-round pick in next year's draft, while the Sabres get Minnesota's fourth-round selection.
The Sabres and Wild had several conversations at the draft. It culminated in a deal Friday.
The 27-year-old Scandella is the centerpiece of the deal for Buffalo. The left-handed shot had 11 goals and 23 points in 64 games in 2014-15. He has been up and down the past two seasons. Scandella had four goals and 13 points in 71 games last year.
He has three years left on a contract that pays $4 million annually.
Scandella joins a left side that also includes Jake McCabe, recent acquisition Nathan Beaulieu, Victor Antipin, Josh Gorges, Brendan Guhle and Justin Falk.
The 34-year-old Pominville is no stranger to Sabres fans. Drafted by Buffalo in the second round in 2001, he spent his first 12 seasons in the Sabres' organization and served as captain.
The right winger had 13 goals and 47 points in 78 games last season. He has a big contract with two seasons remaining at $5.6 million.
The 25-year-old Foligno is the big catch for Minnesota. The power forward finally found his long-sought consistency last season, resulting in 13 goals and 23 points in 80 games.
The restricted free agent has a $2.25 million qualifying offer, which is to the Wild's liking.
Ennis is coming off two injury-plagued seasons. Concussions limited him to just 23 games in 2015-16, and he recorded just three goals and 11 points before getting hurt. He had sports hernia/groin surgery last season, recording just five goals and 13 points in 51 games.
The 27-year-old openly wondered if it was time to move on.
Ennis: "It was a tough combo of a few things last year, but I think it was necessary for a fresh start. I'm ready to have grt season"
— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) June 30, 2017
Foligno and Ennis both played left wing for the Sabres. The remaining left wingers are Evander Kane, Matt Moulson, Justin Bailey and Nicolas Deslauriers, with prospect Alex Nylander able to play left and right wing.
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