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20 Free Agents

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The Sabres have 20 relevant UFAs and RFAs this summer. 19 have NHL experience, 17 have played for the Sabres this season.

UFAs Forwards

Frolik - gone

Sheary - gone

Vesey - 85% gone

Girgensons - should be gone

Larsson - 50/50 efforts is there but not the results

Wilson - gone

UFA - Defense and Goalies

Nelson - gone

Gilmour - I think management likes him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he returns in a similar role

Hammond - gone - UPL to the AHL next year

RFA’s Forwards - more questions here

ERod - no way Jbot brings him back - gone

Lazar - I think the kid has found a home as a utility depth forward.  2 years 800k per season

Thompson - 1 year at the qualifying number

Mittelstadt - 1 year at the qualifying number

Olofsson - he’ll be re-signed, but how much? 3 years 4 mill per season?  Less?

Reinhart - 3 years 6 mill per season

RFAs Defense and Goalies

Pilut - It will be interesting to see how Jbot approaches this contract.  Does he think he is part of the future or just filler

Montour - 5 years 5 mil per season.  They like his game and I think they view him as a core piece 

Johansson - AHL all-star should be in line for NHL call up soon. 2 year 2 way deal but with good AHL money.

Ullmark - Currently the starter but average to below average for an NHL starter. Likely to be re-signed unless Jbot goes and gets a higher end FA goalie.  Still might be re-signed to compete with the FA. 

 

Editorial comment:  looking at this list, is there any question why this team is struggling.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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UFAs Forwards

Frolik - probably gone

Sheary - stays. I’d keep him at his current salary or a slight bump up. For 2 year deal.

Vesey - 50/50 gone

Girgensons - 50/50 gone

Larsson - Stays on a two year deal as long as the price is right.

Wilson - most likely gone unless he wants to do exactly what he did this season. As a call up due to injuries.

UFA - Defense and Goalies

Nelson - probably gone

Gilmour - I think management likes him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he returns in a similar role. Yep.

Hammond - gone - UPL to the AHL next year. Yep.

RFA’s Forwards - more questions here

ERod - no way Jbot brings him back - gone. Yep.

Lazar - keep him around as long as he understands his role will be the same next season.

Thompson - 1 year at the qualifying number. Yep.

Mittelstadt - bank on him developing more. Sign him for three years on a two way.

Olofsson - throw him a three year deal.

Reinhart - 3 years 6 mill per season. That’s fair. I’d even go to 4 years.

RFAs Defense and Goalies

Pilut - keep Him with the understanding he’ll be used like he was this year unless he breaks out and makes it impossible to ignore him.

Montour - 5 years 5 mil per season.  They like his game and I think they view him as a core piece. Yep, that’s fair. I’d try to get it down to 4.2 - 4.5 mil. if possible.

Johansson - AHL all-star should be in line for NHL call up soon. 2 year 2 way deal but with good AHL money. Yep, that’s fair.

Ullmark - I still don’t view Ullmark as “the starter”. I think RK is just playing the hot glove no matter what the name is. Currently it’s Ullmark. I think Hutton and Ullmark will be the tandem again next season with the hope Ullmark develops even more. Sign Ullmark for 3 years around 2.5 - 3.2 mil. per. That’s more than double what he’s currently making.

 

 

Edited by Zamboni

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No question on why it is struggling.

The only question I have is why did Botterill re-sign/qualify some of this fodder and why didn't he go harder in FA this post off season for players that would have been upgrades?

Is it, as some have lamented, Botterill's inability to assess talent, chemistry and a lack of a true vision for a plan?

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The thing that irks with me the most is I look back to around this time 5 years ago and hopeful of getting and eichel/mcdavid and looking forward to things getting better. Now at this time in 2020 I am so thoroughly fed up and disgusted with the whole situation. I am now for the first time in botterills tenure starting to seriously question whether he should remain and that he actually knows what he is doing???

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17 minutes ago, Sabre1974 said:

The thing that irks with me the most is I look back to around this time 5 years ago and hopeful of getting and eichel/mcdavid and looking forward to things getting better. Now at this time in 2020 I am so thoroughly fed up and disgusted with the whole situation. I am now for the first time in botterills tenure starting to seriously question whether he should remain and that he actually knows what he is doing???

I think it is pretty clear that Jbot likes a certain type of player (small or plays soft, etc.), whether it be via the draft, free agent or trade.  As long as he is there, I do not expect to like the type of team he builds...as they will lack heart and toughness.....which would go a long way with Sabres fans IMHO.

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32 minutes ago, Sabre1974 said:

The thing that irks with me the most is I look back to around this time 5 years ago and hopeful of getting and eichel/mcdavid and looking forward to things getting better. Now at this time in 2020 I am so thoroughly fed up and disgusted with the whole situation. I am now for the first time in botterills tenure starting to seriously question whether he should remain and that he actually knows what he is doing???

St. Louis likes what he's doing.

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I’ll Play.
 

UFAs Forwards

Frolik - gone 
Sheary - gone 
Vesey - gone 
Girgensons - gone  
Sobotka - gone. 
Larsson - sign for 2-3 yrs @ $2-2.5M Wilson - gone or signed for Roch

 

UFA - Defense and Goalies

Nelson - gone or signed for Roch  
Gilmour - gone or signed for Roch  
Hammond - gone - UPL to the AHL next year

 

RFA’s Forwards

ERod - gone  
Lazar - gone or signed for Roch  
Thompson - 2-3 years @ $1-1.25 2-way  
Mittelstadt - 2-3 years @ $1-1.25 2-way  
Olofsson - 4-6 years @ $4.5-5.5M  
Reinhart - 5-8 years $6.5-7.5M

 

RFAs Defense and Goalies

Pilut - 2-3 yrs @ $1.25-1.5M 2-way  
Montour - 4-6 yrs @ $5-6M  
Johansson - 2-3 yrs @ $1-1.25M 2-way  
Ullmark - 2-3 yrs @  $1.5-2M, all depends on if Mike Bales likes him.

Goalie situation:  I actually trust Bales to make decisions about the goaltending position and who should be acquired from outside.  I think Hutton is going to be moved and someone new brought in to share time with Ullmark.

 

Where we disagree most is:

Larsson - The results ARE there for him.  When he is out there Buffalo gets more shots and goals than the opposition.  I think he definitely should and will be retained.

Olofsson - He is a top-6 sniper.  He is going to command more than $4M, I think, especially on a longer term deal.  Why screw around with bridging him.  Lock him up!

Reinhart - I don’t know exactly how management feels about him, but I would sign him long term and I think  that would cost $6.5M+.

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2 hours ago, Curt said:

I’ll Play.
 

UFAs Forwards

Frolik - gone 
Sheary - gone 
Vesey - gone 
Girgensons - gone  
Sobotka - gone. 
Larsson - sign for 2-3 yrs @ $2-2.5M Wilson - gone or signed for Roch

 

UFA - Defense and Goalies

Nelson - gone or signed for Roch  
Gilmour - gone or signed for Roch  
Hammond - gone - UPL to the AHL next year

 

RFA’s Forwards

ERod - gone  
Lazar - gone or signed for Roch  
Thompson - 2-3 years @ $1-1.25 2-way  
Mittelstadt - 2-3 years @ $1-1.25 2-way  
Olofsson - 4-6 years @ $4.5-5.5M  
Reinhart - 5-8 years $6.5-7.5M

 

RFAs Defense and Goalies

Pilut - 2-3 yrs @ $1.25-1.5M 2-way  
Montour - 4-6 yrs @ $5-6M  
Johansson - 2-3 yrs @ $1-1.25M 2-way  
Ullmark - 2-3 yrs @  $1.5-2M, all depends on if Mike Bales likes him.

Goalie situation:  I actually trust Bales to make decisions about the goaltending position and who should be acquired from outside.  I think Hutton is going to be moved and someone new brought in to share time with Ullmark.

 

Where we disagree most is:

Larsson - The results ARE there for him.  When he is out there Buffalo gets more shots and goals than the opposition.  I think he definitely should and will be retained.

Olofsson - He is a top-6 sniper.  He is going to command more than $4M, I think, especially on a longer term deal.  Why screw around with bridging him.  Lock him up!

Reinhart - I don’t know exactly how management feels about him, but I would sign him long term and I think  that would cost $6.5M+.

I agree with just about everything but Hutton can’t be moved other than to Rochester or ECHL. Either way we’re stuck wit his salary. 

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2 minutes ago, freester said:

I agree with just about everything but Hutton can’t be moved other than to Rochester or ECHL. Either way we’re stuck wit his salary. 

Oh, I wouldn’t be so positive about Hutton.  It’s possible that you are right, but he has a history of decent performance as a backup and GM’s are going to looking at more than just this season.  He isn’t making too much for someone to take shot on him as their backup for a year.

And I think there is no way that they waive Hutton.  There is too much respect for him.

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2 hours ago, freester said:

I agree with just about everything but Hutton can’t be moved other than to Rochester or ECHL. Either way we’re stuck wit his salary. 

He isn't a FA.  

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5 hours ago, Carmel Corn said:

I think it is pretty clear that Jbot likes a certain type of player (small or plays soft, etc.), whether it be via the draft, free agent or trade.  As long as he is there, I do not expect to like the type of team he builds...as they will lack heart and toughness.....which would go a long way with Sabres fans IMHO.

... um his drafts most assuredly do not apply. 

That said Frolic is meh and it's more proof botterill sucks at forward eval

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Not trying to come off as combative but I don’t see why anyone has an issue with Larsson. I remember when fourth lines got a handful of minutes and were dubbed the energy line. I think he is a competent bottom six forward who can play third line when needed. When KO has the puck it seems like not for long. When Girgs has it its a matter of time until he falls down. Of the three he has smoother hands and plays with more of an edge. Not sure what the numbers say but of all the bottom six I’d rather have him out there in a defensive situation. A quiet professional who accepts his role and stays within it.

Other than that I’m all in on the OP’s assessment.

Edited by SABRES 0311

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No discussion of the UFA/RFAs would be complete without looking at their current cap hits

UFAs Forwards - (NHL cap hit -17.275)

Frolik - 4.3; Sheary - 3.0; Vesey - 2.275; Girgensons - 1.6; Larsson - 1.55; Wilson - 1.05; Sobotka (LTIR) - 3.5

UFA - Defense and Goalies - (NHL Cap hit - 2.25)

Nelson (AHL) - .813; Hunwick (LTIR) - 2.25; Gilmour (AHL) - .7; Hammond (AHL) - .7

RFA’s Forwards - (NHL Cap Hit - 8.043) 

ERod - 2.0, Lazar - .7; Thompson (IR) - .925; Mittelstadt (AHL) - .925; Olofsson (IR) - .768; Reinhart - 3.65

RFAs Defense and Goalies - (NHL cap hit - 5.638)

Pilut - .925; Montour - 3.388; Johnasson (AHL)-.759; Ullmark - 1.325

THESE FAs account for 33.206.

Heading into next season we have 

5 forwards under contract (6 with Cozens) for 30.345 - Jack, KO, Skinner, MoJo and Asplund.  Add Cozens for .925 and thus 31.27

5 Defense are also under contract for 13.975 - Risto, McCabe, Miller, Dahlin and Jokiharju

1 Goalie for 2.75 in Hutton

Other sunk cost - Coho buyout - 792K

12 players with Cozens for 48.787.  Leaving approx 35.213 for 10-11 roster slots.

From this FA list - I have forwards Lazar, Reinhart, VO, Mitts and Thompson as likely taking 5 of the open 7 jobs.  This leaves 2 slots for new centers. I have the 5 re-signed forwards at a potential cap hit of 14.5.

On defense and in goal - Montour and Pilut are the likely list for the 2 open D slots, with Ullmark returning in net.  Cap hit for these 3 - 7.5

This would put us at $70.787 for 20 players. The biggest issue is fan, media and Pegula's reaction if this status quo. 

VO Jack Reinhart

Skinner NEW CENTER MoJo

Asplund Cozens Thompson/Mitts

Lazar Larsson/new center Okposo

Of 12 signed players, I suspect up to 5 may not return.  McCabe, Risto, KO, Miller and Hutton could easily be waived or traded to change the face of this team

 

Edited by GASabresIUFAN

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