NHL Rumors: Buffalo Sabres UFA Future and Pittsburgh Penguins’ Musings
Kevyn Adams and the Buffalo Sabres Future
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The Buffalo Sabres UFA Future

John Vogl of The Athletic:  Buffalo Sabres’ UFA targets from one to several years out abound. The prominent players are Auston Matthews in 2024, Patrick Kane in 2023, and even Leon Drasaitl in 2025.

Kevyn Adams is putting the Buffalo Sabres in a position to spend as soon as the summer of 2022. At least, that is the plan. The problem with that future is in a year, who wants to go to Buffalo?

Adams will not overpay and that would have to happen to get a free agent to come to Buffalo. That may apply for 2023 as well. At some juncture, the general manager will have to sell Buffalo well or the team will have to improve more.

2024 and 2025 appear to have more value or have more realistic targets. If Patrick Kane were to come home though, that might change things.

2024 sees Connor Hellebuyck, Auston Matthews, and William Nylander all hit the market. That poses some interesting questions for Buffalo. If the young core matures for Buffalo, 2025 has Mitch Marner and Leon Draisaitl to consider. Again, the future features a lot of what-ifs. It’s intriguing to speculate anyway.

Pittsburgh Penguin Contract Musings?

Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey NOW:  Making it easier to sign Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin come 2022 got one step easier this week. Any 35 or over deal that keeps an even salary without bonuses will not penalize a team. This allows Malkin to go over to the KHL to finish his career, etc.

That allows contract flexibility so Ron Hextall can sign his players to longer-term deals. That makes Malkin an easier re-sign. Now, about that reconstructed knee…

As for Kris Letang, it is a bit more complicated. Letang took a team-friendly deal in his prime of $7.25 million AAV for eight seasons. He is still a very good defenseman in this day and age.

It will be intriguing to see what Ron Hextall and his “inner circle” value Letang at. The defenseman becomes quite an interesting case. Then, there is Bryan Rust but that is for later.