NASHVILLE — Who wins a trade is one of the hardest things to quantify, and when multiple players, draft picks and salary implications are involved, it takes years to get a real handle on the effect a swap has on the teams involved.

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Opinion

NASHVILLE — Who wins a trade is one of the hardest things to quantify, and when multiple players, draft picks and salary implications are involved, it takes years to get a real handle on the effect a swap has on the teams involved.

Take Wednesday’s seven-piece deal between the Winnipeg Jets and the Buffalo Sabres — the layers and complexities of the deal will make it difficult to judge now and later.

Winnipeg Jets defenceman Tyler Myers (57) collides with Nashville defenceman Anton Volchenkov (20) as centre Craig Smith, right, looks for the puck in the first period of Thursday's game in Nashville, Tenn. It's too early to tell what will be the real impact of the trade that brought Myers to Winnipeg, Gary Lawless writes.

MARK ZALESKI / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Winnipeg Jets defenceman Tyler Myers (57) collides with Nashville defenceman Anton Volchenkov (20) as centre Craig Smith, right, looks for the puck in the first period of Thursday's game in Nashville, Tenn. It's too early to tell what will be the real impact of the trade that brought Myers to Winnipeg, Gary Lawless writes.

It’s easy to look at it as Winnipeg sending Zach Bogosian to Buffalo for Tyler Myers in one part of the deal and Evander Kane for Drew Stafford plus prospects and a first-round pick, but that’s not accurate.

In fact, it was truly a package deal and that’s the only way it was going to get done.

Flying under the radar is the flexibility this deal provides Cheveldayoff. Over the next four seasons, he’ll save $6.5 million in real cash on the difference between the Bogosian and Myers contracts.

That’s important money for the Jets as they try to deal with expiring deals for the likes of pending unrestricted free agent Michael Frolik this summer, then Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien a year after that.

Former Jets defenceman and current Nashville Predators assistant coach Phil Housley came to Winnipeg in a trade with the Sabres back in the summer of 1990. The deal involved Dale Hawerchuk moving to Buffalo but also also included a swap of first-round picks, which eventually became Keith Tkachuk and Brad May.

"Time will tell. In certain situations, things happen for a reason and trades are a part of the business," said Housley Thursday. "But this one, with Evander Kane being out, that one, I’m sure they’re planning for the future, building their team for Buffalo.

"Like I said, all those things will play out, but for Winnipeg, they’re getting a good defenceman in Tyler Myers. Drew Stafford has done an excellent job in Buffalo, so they’re getting some depth in those positions."

Housley’s impact in Winnipeg wasn’t truly revealed until Teemu Selanne arrived and the two formed a chemistry rarely seen in the NHL. Housley was on the ice for 56 of Selanne’s rookie-year record 76 goals in 1992-93.

Chemistry is something that can’t be predicted prior to a trade but it has a lot to do with the success players have with new teams.

"You look at these trades, especially when it’s multi players involved, you’re changing a lot of the chemistry in your team and hopefully those pieces to the puzzle fall in right away and they can create chemistry that’s needed when you get new players," he said.

Another element to consider when looking at this trade is the depth it gives Cheveldayoff in terms of assets. What if he takes the first-round pick acquired in this deal and flips it for the top-nine forward he still wants to aid in his team’s stretch run?

How a trade affects a team at different points in time is also a consideration. The Jets needed a replacement for Kane today.

The Sabres wanted Kane for the future and the fact he was injured and couldn’t interfere with their dive for Connor McDavid was also a bonus.

We’ll be sifting through the sands of this trade for a long time.

It has changed the complexion of both teams and will continue to do so.

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @garylawless