The Buffalo Sabres are going to have quite a bit of work to do with their roster this summer.
Having already traded away the likes of Jason Pominville and Jordan Leopold, there will likely be a few more names subtracted from this roster over the course of the summer. At least a few of these names will be considered for one of the new buyouts that were made available to teams as a result of the new CBA.
The Sabres have multiple contracts that they are likely now regretting. At one point, they looked like a team on the cusp of serious contention. Which led to some hefty contracts being handed out. Look for them to unload at least one of them this summer via the buyout.
Ville Leino is a prime candidate. After a simply putrid season last year, he’s spent most of this year injured. It’s pretty clear that he’s more of a role player than the key player the Sabres were hoping for. Look for him to be the first guy they look at buying out this summer.
Then there’s Drew Stafford. This one’s a little less likely. Stafford has had a bad year this year, with a cap hit of $4 million for two more years. The Sabres could hope his season is just a fluke and expect him to return to his former 20-goal scoring ways by next season.
On the blue line, you’re looking at the likes of Tyler Myers and Christian Ehrhoff as candidates. Myers isn’t a free agent until 2019 and Ehrhoff will be around until 2021. Could they look to unload one of them sooner? If so, look for Myers to be the guy there.
Of these candidates, Leino seems like the best candidate, by a mile. I’d expect the Sabres to make use of their buyouts this summer, and look at Ville Leino as the no. 1 candidate to be hit with one.