On today’s restricted free agent watch, we complete the circuit with the pending forwards with rookie forward Brian Flynn. Flynn didn’t make the Buffalo Sabres lineup until after the departure of head coach Lindy Ruff – he was one of the chosen few of the American Hockey League Rochester Americans that followed head coach Ron Rolston to the big leagues.
Brian Flynn joined the Rochester Americans in March of 2012 when he signed a two-way entry level deal with the Buffalo Sabres. Given his age of 22 years old, he was able to sign as an undrafted free agent.
In just 26 games with the Buffalo Sabres, he managed six goals and five assists for 11 points. If resigned by the Buffalo Sabres – he will join other prospects and possible free agent signings and be fighting for a third or fourth line center spot behind Steve Ott and possibly Cody Hodgson, another young center who is an RFA this summer.
Flynn’s entry level contract cost the Buffalo Sabres just over one million dollars against the salary cap, with his base salary being $832,000 plus signing bonus and performance bonuses.
Not being a super impact player, the Buffalo Sabres can retain the young forward for relatively cheap. A five percent increase on his base salary would allow the Buffalo Sabres to further develop Flynn, at a cost of $874,125 per season. Depending on the organizations plans for Flynn, signing him to a multi-year two way contract would allow him to continue to learn the professional game. Given his age and the lack of NHL games – he can freely be called up from Rochester without having to clear waivers. As long as he doesn’t play more than 34 games this season – the Buffalo Sabres can use him as a depth center in case of injury. The best case scenario for the Buffalo Sabres is to sign Brian Flynn to a 2-3 year deal, given them the time to groom all of their center prospects and have some familiarity in the farm system and the big club when injuries deplete the center ice position.