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Wayne Simmonds Traded to Sabres from Devils for 2021 NHL Draft Pick

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2020

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - FEBRUARY 11:  Wayne Simmonds #17 of the New Jersey Devils takes the puck in the third period against the Florida Panthers at Prudential Center on February 11, 2020 in Newark, New Jersey.The Florida Panthers defeated the New Jersey Devils 5-3. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The New Jersey Devils are trading veteran forward Wayne Simmonds to the Buffalo Sabres for a conditional 2021 fifth-round draft pick.

New Jersey announced the move Monday after TSN's Frank Seravalli first reported the deal, who noted the pick can become a fourth-rounder.

Simmonds has eight goals and 16 assists through 61 games this season. This is the second straight year in which he was moved ahead of the trade deadline after the Philadelphia Flyers sent him to the Nashville Predators.

The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun noted the Devils are on the hook for half of Simmonds' $5 million salary-cap hit for 2019-20. The 31-year-old is an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.

Buffalo is trying to make a playoff push in the stretch run. Simmonds is unlikely to significantly improve the Sabres' postseason odds, though.

dom luszczyszyn @domluszczyszyn

the sabres went 7-3-1 in february to improve their playoff chances from 0.6% to 2.4% godspeed, i’m sure wayne simmonds is the missing piece to get them the other 97.6% of the way https://t.co/M9eAiVrlfm

Sportsnet @Sportsnet

"Unless they're signing him for next year, it doesn't make any sense." "Or they're signing him to flip him." @StuMunrue, @armdog, @kbieksa3, Kris Versteeg, and @DavidAmber discuss the Wayne Simmonds #SNTrade: https://t.co/EutLWlQVmb

The team is eight points off the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference and six points behind the third-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division.

Acquiring Simmonds didn't come at a significant cost to the Sabres, though, and he's an upgrade for their attacking unit. The right wing's point total ranks fifth among Buffalo's forwards. 

Mike Harrington @ByMHarrington

Sure, Botterill has been a disaster at times during his stint. But Jeez Louise, he goes out and gets a veteran forward with some jam for basically nothing and he's getting killed. Never change, #Sabres Twitter.

Still, the Sabres may have little to show from the move should Simmonds move on in the offseason since getting into the playoffs is far from a guarantee.

Should Buffalo make a deep postseason run, general manager Jason Botterill will have the last laugh.

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