AP Source: Sabres trading D Brandon Montour to Panthers

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres’ sell-off continued Saturday with the team informing defenseman Brandon Montour he has been traded to the Florida Panthers, a person with direct knowledge of discussions confirmed to The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the teams have not announced the deal, which comes two days before the NHL’s trade deadline. SportsNet650 in Vancouver first reported the trade.

The move is the latest and not likely last for the rebuilding Sabres. Buffalo sits last in the overall standings and all but mathematically guaranteed to match the NHL playoff drought record of 10 seasons.

Buffalo previously traded center Eric Staal to Montreal, and has been in negotiations to trade forward Taylor Hall, who is completing a one-year, $8 million contract.

Montour is a pending unrestricted free-agent completing a one-year, $3.85 million contract.

The Panthers add a two-way defenseman to a team in a tight race for first place in the Central Division standings. The Panthers fell from first place to a tie with Tampa Bay for second after back-to-back losses to Carolina this week.

The Panthers opened up salary cap space on Thursday in a trade that sent forward Brett Connolly and defenseman Riley Stillman to Chicago for forward Lucas Wallmark and defenseman Lucas Carlsson.

Montour, who turns 27 on Sunday, is in his fifth NHL season and has been with Buffalo since the Sabres acquired him from Anaheim on Feb. 24, 2019. He has five goals — four coming in his last seven games — and 14 points in 38 games this season.

Overall, the 2014 second-round draft pick has 29 goals and 76 assists for 105 points in 281 career games.

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