The Buffalo Sabres have not been challenging for a playoff spot in late January in a few years. The team has real optimism about the present and future since 2011, which is the last time the team made the playoffs.

The Sabres are three points out of a playoff spot. They trail both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. However, Buffalo has three games in hand on Washington, with 35 games remaining in the regular season.

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The Sabres control their own playoff destiny right now, which was aided with three straight wins, including on the road in both Dallas and St. Louis.

Tage Thompson is tied for third in goals in the NHL (33) and is fifth in total points (66). Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin is on pace for 100 points, while Alex Tuch, Jeff Skinner and Victor Olofsson have all scored 20-plus goals. Dylan Cozens has also had a breakout year, on pace for 75 points.

Would the Sabres made an all-in kind of move?

According to Pierre LeBrun of TSN is reporting that the Sabres have contacted the San Jose Sharks, regarding star right winger Timo Meier.

The Toronto Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils have also been said to be interested in Meier's services.

Meier is 26 years old and has scored 28 goals with 48 points in 49 games this season. He's a star player who is in his prime. The Sharks are 17 points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference and would likely want a lot of pieces in return.

The question is would the Sabres be willing to do that?

Meier would not be a rental. He would be someone you would need to extend with a new contract and invest in. Which means a hefty price to pay in a trade.

Maybe two prospects and two high draft picks, which the Sabres have; more than any other team. They also have plenty of cap space, with the salary cap likely going up next season.

The general manager for the Sharks is Mike Grier, who is a former Sabre. Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams is a Buffalo native and played against Grier many times. They have a built-in relationship.

Chicago Blackhawks forward Max Domi is another forward who looks to be traded by the March 3rd deadline and chances are the Sabres are buyers this year.

We will see what happens.

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