"It's exhilarating, it was fast and furious, and I'd be lying if I didn't say I enjoyed 90 percent of it," Sabres GM Tim Murray said after the deadline passed.
LISTEN: Sabres GM Tim Murray on the deadline
Forward Matt Moulson was the Sabre who was perhaps most likely to be on the move, and Murray waited until the last minute to get a deal done. The Sabres did however move Moulson and forward Cody McCormick to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for forward Torrey Mitchell, and second round draft picks in 2014 and 2016. Mitchell has nine points in 58 games played this season.
Jaroslav Halak didn't play a game for the Sabres since being acquired from St. Louis in the Ryan Miller trade. The Sabres traded the netminder to the Washington Capitals along with a 2015 third-round pick for goalie Michal Neuvirth and defenseman Rostislav Klesla. Neuvirth joins the Sabres after appearing in 13 games in 2013-14, posting a 4-6-2 record. Klesla was acquired by the Capitals earlier Wednesday from the Phoenix Coyotes. In his 13th NHL season, the defenseman has appeared in 25 games for the Coyotes, recording four points (1+3) and 24 penalty minutes. In 659 career games with the Coyotes and Blue Jackets, Klesla has totaled 159 points and 620 penalty minutes.
In their first move of the day, the Sabres claimed Canisius College alum Cory Conacher off waivers from the Ottawa Senators. Conacher has four goals and 20 points in 60 games with Ottawa this year, and scores three goals in eight playoff games with the Senators in 2013. Conacher is Canisius' career leader in points (147) and goals (62).
"For me, my family, and my friends, it's been a great couple of hours," Conacher said shortly after hearing he'd been claimed. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to play for Buffalo, which I basically consider my second home."
"There's lots of things I like about him on the ice," Murray said about Conacher. "He's what I like to call a goo complimentary player. If we had better players to surround him he'd be a better complimentary player."
Buffalo's first trade of the deadline was made with the Los Angeles Kings. The Sabres traded defenseman Brayden McNabb, Jonathan Parker, and Los Angeles' second round picks in 2014 and 2015 to the Kings in exchange for prospects Nicholas Deslaurier and Hudson Fasching. The Sabres had previously acquired the two second round picks from the Kings in exchange for Robyn Regher. McNabb recorded eight points and 21 penalty minutes in 37 career games with Buffalo. Fasching has recorded 12 goals and 27 points in 31 games with the University of Minnesota this season. Deslaurier, a defenseman, has scored 18 goals and 39 points in 60 games with the AHL's Manchester Monarchs this year.
Last week, the Sabres acquired goalie Jaroslav Halak, forward Chris Stewart, prospect William Carrier, a 2015 first-round pick and a conditional 2016 third-round pick in exchange for goalie Ryan Miller and team Captain Steve Ott in a deal reached in advance of the trade deadline.
"The start of building for me was on Friday (during the Miller trade), and then today was a continuation of it," Murray said, "but there's still a lot of building to do."