Buffalo Sabres general manager Darcy Regier updated fans on the status of three pending free agents on June 30. Regier, who also manages the AHL’s Rochester Americans, said the team will not make an offer to pending UFA goaltender David Leggio. The team is also not extending offers to RFAs Drew Schiestel and Jacob Lagace.
The lack of an offer to Leggio may come as a surprise to some, since he has been the main netminder in Rochester for the past two seasons. The Buffalo native has been with the Sabres organization since 2010. Last season, he appeared in 64 regular season games with the Americans, playing a career-high 3,799 minutes. He had a 2.56 GAA and .924 save percentage, and won 38 of his games played.
On paper, Leggio looks like a sure-fire player to re-sign. However, looking at the circumstances surrounding the situation – it’s not an easy answer, as the Sabres have a wealth of goaltending in the background.
First, there’s Matt Hackett, who was brought in via trade and will become an RFA this offseason. Hackett appeared in 3 games with the Americans last season prior to the playoffs. He also played in 43 games with the Houston Aeros prior to joining the Sabres organization.
After that, there’s rookies Nathan Lieuwen and Connor Knapp. Lieuwen appeared in four games for the Americans, while Knapp appeared in seven. Down the stretch, you’ve also got Andrey Makarov. Provided that the goaltending situation up in Buffalo remains a Miller/Enroth tandem, you could see Hackett earn the starting position in Rochester.
Leggio made $105,000 last season on an AHL salary. Simply put, he’s a solid goaltender who simply may not have a spot here, but will almost certainly find offers from several other NHL teams.
The Sabres also announced that they are not extending qualifying offers to defenseman Drew Schiestel and forward Jacob Lagace.
Schiestel, a Hamilton native, has been plagued by an injury suffered several seasons ago. Two years ago, he spent part of the year with the AHL’s Texas Stars after failing to make the Amerks’ clear day roster. Last year, he played mostly defense but at times struggled to solidify a spot on a crowded blueline.
Lagace has also struggled to maintain an AHL spot with the Americans in the past year. He spent the majority of last season in the ECHL with the Bakersfield Condors.