|From USA Today|
The Montreal Canadiens have acquired defenseman Marco Scandella from the Buffalo Sabres for a 2020 4th round pick. The Sabres have already traded that same draft pick to the Calgary Flames for forward Michael Frolik.
The Canadiens wanted an upgrade on defense. Currently in fifth place, they are looking for an energizer. The team just traded Mike Reilly to the Senators, and now they get Scandella for slightly more than they got for Reilly (Andrew Sturtz and a 5th round pick). Reilly was not playing most nights, but Scandella will in Montreal. After a rough second season in Buffalo, Scandella has rebounded this year. If his plus/minus rating of +9 were to hold up, it would be the second best of his career, just one behind his +10 rating in 2013-14. He has missed games this year, but he would be on an 82 game scoring pace of a career high 24 points. He will be a decent bottom pairing option for coach Claude Julien, and they don\’t part with much. He does have a $4 million cap hit, but he will be a free agent after 2019-20.
Scandella, 29, has scored three goals with six assists for nine points in 31 games for the Sabres this year. In his NHL career for the Sabres and Minnesota Wild, Scandella has scored 41 goals with 92 assists for 133 points in 549 games.
The Sabres have a lot of good defensemen. They have seven defensemen in the NHL that are all arguably better than Scandella. They also have NHL ready defensemen in the AHL like Casey Nelson, Lawrence Pilut and John Gilmour. Also, they free up $4 million in cap space that was soon used on Frolik. Scandella is a pending UFA and was not playing every game. They trade the same draft pick, so there is no loss. Frolik is having a bad season with the Flames, playing on the fourth line. Like Scandella, he is a UFA after the season. Frolik has a slightly higher cap hit of $4.3 million. He is at best a third liner, as he has not scored over 20 goals since he was 21 in 2009-10. But the Sabres could really use a veteran forward. At 31, Frolik is tied with Kyle Okposo for the team\’s oldest forward. The Flames free up the cap space for a potential addition down the stretch. They now have around $2 million in cap space.
Frolik, 31, has scored five goals with five assists for 10 points in 38 games with the Flames this year. In his NHL career for the Flames, Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers Frolik has scored 158 goals with 222 assists for 380 points in 831 games.