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Poll: Which Upcoming Free Agent do the Buffalo Sabres Need to Re-Sign the Most?

The upcoming trade deadline and the offseason will be two of the defining places where the Buffalo Sabres mark their course for the rebuild.

They can either unload multiple veterans in an attempt to win Connor McDavid or they can try to acquire more talent now instead of relying on the draft.

Either way the Buffalo Sabres have a lot of decisions to make. A quick glance at cap geek, shows us that the Buffalo Sabres organization has 23 players who will either hit unrestricted free agency or restricted free agency at the end of this season. The Sabres will need to make decisions on everyone from Ryan Miller to Matt Hackett and John Scott to Matt Moulson before the beginning of next season.

For the purpose of this piece we won’t worry about the players in the AHL currently with the Rochester Americans who will either become UFA’s or RFA’s, we’ll just stick with some of the key players on the Sabres roster.

The names that jump out at you right away are the names like Ryan Miller, Matt Moulson and Steve Ott. Then you see the second wave of players such as Marcus Foligno, John Scott, Henrik Tallinder, Tyler Ennis and Alex Sulzer who will also be looking for a new contract.

That’s a whole lot of names which the Sabres will need to make some major decision’s on and that’s not including Luke Adam, Chad Ruwhedel and Linus Omark who will also be in the hunt for a new job.

For the most part the Buffalo Sabres defence is set for the future. With Tyler Myers re-emerging, Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov only a season away and Mark Pysyk‘s strong play, they have one heck of a top 4. Not to mention if they do land Aaron Ekblad at  draft that will only help bolster the line-up. The Sabres biggest need is up front on offence and of the 23 players who need new contracts 13 of them are forwards.

Now each player from Moulson to Ott brings something unique to the table in their own right, the question is which player is the most valuable to the future of the Sabres?

Is it Moulson and his scoring ability? If you find Moulson a true number one centre there is no telling how good he could. What about Ott and his leadership abilities? Having someone like Ott around through the rebuild to help teach the rookies may be good. Then of course there is Ryan Miller. The Sabres franchise goaltender- will he stay or will he go?

What about a younger player such as Marcus Foligno? He still has untapped potential and the ability to be a solid power forward in the NHL, he just needs more time. Then there is Tyler Ennis who is currently the Buffalo Sabres number one centre and has found a new gear since Ted Nolan took of as interim head coach. He’s short but spunk and can be counted on to generate offence.

With 23 players needing a new contract there are bound to be at least a few names leaving the organization between the tradedeadine and free agency. But if you’re the GM of the Buffalo Sabres and had the ability to re-sign one free agent or restricted free agent, who would you choose?

Vote in the poll, start a nice debate in the comments and they have yourselves a very Merry Christmas! I myself am heading to the US of A for the Holiday’s.

Who Do you Re-Sign

View Results

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Free Agents

  • Dano

    As with Tims latest read, you present good questions.

    Who does Buffalo resign? Of the list you include in the poll I would say Foligno. Theres room for more though with the cap ( supposedly ) rising and the amount of salary being shed.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I’d go with Foligno as I think he’ll be one of the cheaper guys and he seems to want a future in Buffalo

      • Dano

        Theres something about having a ‘ hometown ‘ guy on the team that makes a sentimental ‘ added value ‘ of sorts. With Kaleta gone, Foligno would make a nice upgrade.

  • lee Munn

    Being that Foligno & Ennis are RFA, I am not worried on them. I assume Ennis will be somewhere around a 3-5 year sign & hoping Foligno does like Ennis 2 years ago & signs a 2 yr RFA. to prove how much he is worth by 2 years from now. I will still put my money down that unfortunately Miller is prob. finished with us, so I will expect trade in next 8-12 wks. This leaves Ott & Moulson.. I am expecting a much better probability that Ott will stay (hopefully 4yr/’15-17m’=3.75-4.25m/yr) So my answer would be go after Moulson the hardest “RIGHT NOW’ if he does not show the strong interest of staying with us-Start looking in the next 12 wks who is interested. I home all you regulars (Caitlin, Tim, Richard, Dano, Jes, Melissa & ‘ALL’ you Sabres fans out there have a Mary Christmas & Happy Holidays

    • Caitlin Campbell

      That’s a good point Ennis and Foligno don’t have as much weight at they are restricted. Foligno doesn’t have a ton to show so he’ll probably be in that 2-3 mill range. Moulson might want to bolt and if he does we gotta keep Ott. Merry Belated Christmas to you as well Lee

      • Jes

        Anything over $2 million for Foligno is overpayment. He’s shown absolutely nothing since his big call up late in the season a couple years ago.

        I think Foligno and Ennis are expendable. Ennis will be resigned because of his newly found success with rookie Girgensons, but Foligno I think may be part of an upcoming trade.

        Moulson and Miller are as good as gone. Ott is the only one out of the big three that has a chance at staying. But all 3 are in there 30′s with no Stanley Cups. So IMO they will test free agency to see what’s out there, rather then to just resign here before they see who’s interested in them. The best thing to do with the big three is to trade them by deadline.

        Trade Miller to Anaheim. I believe they will pay up now rather then lose a chance at a cup this year. Etem, 1st and one of there young goalies for Miller. They’ll have Miller and Hiller for the playoffs. If you have Miller as your starter for playoffs then you automatically have a chance at a cup especially with a team like Anaheim’s.

        Trading Ott and Moulson to the Blues would be a good trade. Getting Stewart, Rattie and a 1st rounder will go a long way. Or even replace Stewart with Oshie.

        I also think we should resign Scott and McCormick to one year deals.

        • lee Munn

          When I said re-sign him like Ennis… I only meant as we did keeping him a 2 yr RFA (not price equal)… I believe he is in the 1.3 – 1.75/yr for what he has shown. Then he has 2 years with a few more talented players to come to prove his worth. And ‘YES’ I would resign we are not going to get much for for trading him yet, so I would keep & let him prove his worth… I still see a future in him more than Ennis.

  • Nilo Obscenum

    Boy thats a though question…i’d go for Matt,since i feel like Ryan isnt that happy and wants a new challenge + Enroth is a fantastic replacement. We really need a consistent scorer like Matt….Tyler+Marcus have very good attitudes but sometimes scroring draughts…Steve is just cool and a worthy captain, but still…gimme goals, gimme points, gimme playoffs…i’m in desperate need of that

    • Caitlin Campbell

      If Moulson is willing to stay it would be a toss up between Moulson and Foligno for myself- hopefully both.

  • Ben Chalker

    Foligno. You don’t jettison a young guy with as much upside as he has when you’re rebuilding.
    Sign him first and then worry about the others.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I fully agree, I think the upside with Foligno is amazing and he could be a real force in the future with Girgensons

    • Jes

      Yet people think Myers should be traded and he has shown much more upside and potential then Foligno ever has, and he’s only a year older then Foligno…. Hmmmm….

      Not saying your one of those people Ben.

  • qwicwted

    If I were GM all of the above would be available for offers. If the value of the offer isn’t there, then I would decide whether to resign them or not. I like Moulson, but if we can package him with someone else and get a top 6 guy with a few years left on their contract – why not. Same with Ott. I really don’t see us being too competitive in the UFA market but I can see us acquiring quality players/mentors for our youngsters with some of the pieces we already have.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I like your idea of playing the market, but at the same time the Sabres do need to keep some if their current players, can’t rebuild the entire roster

  • davidmuscalo

    Ryan Miller is a no-brainer. Without his goal tending, the Sabres rebuild will take at least five years. I’d like to see him finish his career in Buffalo. I’d give him a six-year contract.

    Next, I go for Moulson. His has the veteran experience that is desperately needed with all the young players on the team.

    Next is Ott, he is a true leader and gives the team an emotional edge.

    Ennis is about as good as he can get and that isn’t good enough. I’d trade him.

    Foligno has great potential, but if doesn’t start to fulfill that potential soon, I’d let him enter free agency after next season.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      If Miller is willing to stay in Buffalo I would definitely consider handing him a long-term deal- maybe not 6 years. If not I think the Sabres need to trade for a goaltender.
      My first choice would be between Ott/Moulson and Foligno. Problem is Moulson and Ott may not be interested in staying with Buffalo.

      • davidmuscalo

        I believe Ott has already stated that he wants to stay in Buffalo.

        • Caitlin Campbell

          there were some interviews that hinted he wouldn’t mind a change of scenery, of course that was under Regier and Rolston so that may have changed

        • Jes

          Many free agents say that, less media attention that way. Doesn’t mean anything until it actually happens right?

    • Jes

      I dunno David saying without Miller’s goaltending this rebuild will take at least 5 years, I believe that’s just over exaggeration IMO. A tandem of Enroth and Hackett can take this team a long ways.

      I want Moulson to stay to but he will be testing free agency. I have a feeling he’ll be back in an Isles jersey come free agency next year.

      Ott’s really the only one out of the big three that has a chance at staying.

      Ennis has met his peek but he has shown improvement with Girgensons so IMO we shouldn’t mess with that chemistry. So I’d sign him to maybe a 2-3 year deal

      Foligno has potential like you said but hasn’t shown he can live up to that at all since his call up. I’d trade him at the deadline this year for something worthwhile in return. Maybe include him in a trade for a Pavelski or Evander Kane.