By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

No. 38: June 26, 2015The Sabres trade Nikita Zadorov, Mikhail Grigorenko, J.T. Compher and a second-round draft pick in 2015 to Colorado for Ryan O’Reilly and Jamie McGinn.

Ryan O’Reilly probably was Colorado’s best all-around player in 2014-15. He also was going to be an unrestricted free agent in 2016, and he supposedly wanted something like $64 million over eight years to stay in Denver.

Meanwhile, the Sabres already had added Jack Eichel to their roster that summer via the 2015 Entry Draft. General manager Tim Murray thought O’Reilly would be the perfect complement to Eichel’s game. That’s why the Sabres put together a good-sized package of young players to obtain O’Reilly. Then Buffalo signed him to a seven-year deal worth $52.5 million.

O’Reilly played as good as was advertised during three years in Buffalo before he was passed on to St. Louis (more on that one later). Nikita Zadorov was the best player to go to Colorado in the transaction, a young defenseman who is part of the team’s core. J.T. Compher has gotten better in his three years with the Avalanche. Mikhail Grigorenko was a disappointment in Buffalo and Denver, and signed as a free agent with CSKA Moscow in 2017.

(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

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