I wouldn't be worried about losing Kane or Reinhart if it meant we had Stamkos. He's a better player than the two will ever be combined, and I'm confident in saying so. But I also don't think it means we'll absolutely have to move either anytime soon. Sacrifices would obviously have to be made.
I would also bet it wouldn't be hard to sell Stamkos on the idea that signing with Buffalo would mean signing with a winner who would be able to attractive defensive pieces to set him and the rest of the team up for a good 7-8 years of winning.
I would disagree on Sam for now, because you never know. He made tremendous strides in the past year or two and some nights looks like more of a NHL player than Eichel. He'll never be the goal scorer that Stamkos is, but he could dominate in other ways.
Crazy (stupid) idea from bizarro world: Offer Stamkos the league maximum salary (which I believe is 14.2 mil?) for three years, and remind him that Toronto still has a season or two of 'suffering' left before they'll really be rebuilding in earnest.
- Risky move for Stamkos to sign short term, especially considering he's already had a major injury that could have derailed his career. But he'd basically be getting paid four years worth of salary for only three seasons, and then can negotiate a long term deal with the Leafs -- maybe even giving them a hometown discount to sign other weapons.
- Sabres use up a ton of cap for the next three years, but it wouldn't be the end of the world and probably wouldn't force any major roster moves. Maybe we lose Ennis, or Kane eventually.
- Stamkos comes off the books after 2018-19, the same time that Moulson and potentially Ennis do. I would expect Ennis to have been traded by this point, but if not, that's 20+ mil of salary coming off the books on July 1st. No point in looking ahead to potential 2019 UFAs , but the Sabres could be big players.