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Sabres GM Jason Botterill open to trading for scoring depth up front

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- With defenseman Zach Bogosian closer to making his season debut, Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill is seeking a trade to balance his roster.

Botterill said he is "actively looking" to acquire a forward to help a team that is in the midst of a 1-6-2 skid and dealing with injuries at the position. He spoke Tuesday after attending the league's GM meetings in Toronto and before the Sabres lost 4-1 to the Minnesota Wild.

Bogosian has been out since he had hip surgery last spring, and his upcoming return means the Sabres are overstocked on the blue line. Buffalo is carrying eight defensemen already.

Botterill said he is "optimistic" that Bogosian will be able to return to the lineup during the Sabres' three-game trip that starts Thursday in Boston.

"I think he'll be a big boost to our team," Botterill said.

The Sabres also lack forward depth as a result of injuries. Kyle Okposo is out indefinitely because of a concussion suffered Saturday. It is Okposo's fourth concussion in less than three years.

"There's a lot of concern," Botterill said. "Right now, the focus is just making sure that Kyle is all right and getting him back to normal health."

Tage Thompson sustained an upper-body injury Sunday after being called up to fill in for Okposo. The Sabres have also been without forward Johan Larsson (upper body), Marcus Johansson (upper body) and Vladimir Sobotka (lower body). The injuries forced the Sabres to move defenseman John Gilmour to forward for Tuesday's game.

The Sabres have lacked secondary scoring beyond captain Jack Eichel. Buffalo was shut out by the Wild on home ice for two periods before Brandon Montour scored at the 16:11 mark of the third period. The Sabres entered the third trailing 3-0.

Botterill is trying to push Buffalo closer to its first playoff berth since 2011. The Sabres haven't tallied 80 points in a regular season since 2016.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.