Sabres F Mittelstadt calls trade rumours 'surprising to me'
Buffalo Sabres forward Casey Mittelstadt was not expecting to hear his name in trade rumours ahead of the March 8 trade deadline.
The 25-year-old centre told the Buffalo News Monday he was caught off guard by a media report that he could be on the move.
“It’s actually kind of weird,” Mittelstadt said. “I was just sitting at home watching NHL Network and all of a sudden, my name is getting thrown around. So, that was surprising to me, to be honest with you. It’s obviously something I’ve never experienced before.”
Mittelstadt is on pace for career-best numbers with 12 goals and 39 points through 46 games. He had a career year last season, posting 15 goals and 59 points in 82 games.
Scheduled for restricted free agency this summer, Mittelstadt carries a cap hit of $2.5 million. The Sabres have two major extensions kicking in next season with Ramus Dahlin's cap hit rising from $6 million to $11 million and Owen Power's rising from less than $1 million on his entry-level contract to $8.35 million.
Mittelstadt said extension talks have not yet opened with the franchise, but he believes he's made it clear he'd like to stay put in Buffalo.
“There’s really not been any communication,” he said. “I think (general manager Kevyn Adams) knows I want to be here. I pretty much bleed Sabres colors and being with this team.
"My loyalty is to the guys in this room. That’s about all I’ve got right now. I love being here. I love playing here. I love the guys in this room. They’re my brothers.”
Selected eighth overall by the Sabres in the 2017 draft, Mittelstadt has 60 goals and 178 points in 323 career games.
Sitting 14th in the Eastern Conference with 44 points through 46 games, Buffalo is on track to miss the playoffs for a 13th straight season.