Sabres trade Jordan Leopold to St. Louis
Only days away from the NHL trade deadline, the first domino has fallen at First Niagara Center.
Just hours before the Buffalo Sabres would drop the puck against Washington, the team announced they had traded defenseman Jordan Leopold to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for their 2nd round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, as well as a conditional 5th round pick in 2013.
The conditional pick is contingent on the Blues’ postseason success, as it is upgraded to a 4th round pick should St. Louis advance past the first round of the playoffs.
Leopold is in the last year of his three-year contract he signed with the Sabres as an unrestricted free agent in 2010. He registered 67 points in 174 games with Buffalo, and his 25 goals in Buffalo rank 18th among defensemen in franchise history.
“The first couple deals set the market,” [Blues GM Doug] Armstrong said on a conference call Saturday afternoon. “Pittsburgh set the market for defensemen when Murray went for a second [round pick] and I think a third that goes to a second based on a certain number of things…
“[Sabres GM] Darcy [Regier] might have been able to hold and see if the market goes up, but with that you’re always in the risk of an injury and getting nothing for the player. Everybody has to weigh the proper time for their team, and I know it was the proper time for us.”
It’s honestly a pretty solid deal considering the circumstances, and in hindsight, it probably shouldn’t be seen by future generations the team dumping him because he wasn’t good enough or performing. Over the course of his tenure here, Leopold acquitted himself quite well and was the solid second pairing defenseman they were looking for. At times, he was arguably the team’s most consistent performer on the blueline.
“He’s obviously a good player,” said Regier. “His contract’s up at the end of the year and where we are as an organization, where the team is, it’s an opportunity to get something that’s more focused on the future.”
In salute to his time here, it’s only fitting to relive maybe his biggest goal as a Sabre: