KHL Troubles Could Help Buffalo Sabres


The Buffalo Sabres are going to need free agency this summer, and likely next summer to help fill in some holes on their roster.  Just look at the number of expiring contracts the team has, and you can’t exactly field and entire team of rookie and sophomore players with no real veteran leadership.

If the KHL financial troubles lead to an exodus of players coming back to the North American game, the Buffalo Sabres could benefit from having room under the salary cap to score free agents looking for a place to play.

Despite the KHL’s outward appearance as an elite professional league – it is nothing more than an AHL level product in Europe.  So there should be no qualms about picking up a free agent or two to add to your roster, no different than signing an AHL unrestricted free agent.

If nothing more it could be a great way to add depth to an organization that needs help with the Rochester Americans as well.

Here are some players that the Buffalo Sabres should look to target if the KHL falls apart and players are looking for homes.

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Steve Moses, F, Jokerit, KHL Goal Scoring Leader

Moses is an American born player, who played through the NCAA system with the New Hampshire Wildcats, instead of entering the CHL when drafted there.  He played nine games in the American Hockey League post collegiate; with the Connecticut Whale on a tryout status.

He is in his third season with Jokerit, and this year leads the KHL in goal scoring with 31 goals in 49 games.

Steve Moses has his downfall though, at five foot eight inches, Mose is an inch shorter than Tyler Ennis, in a league where size matters.

Patrik Hersley, D,  Sibir

Hersey hails from Sweden, and was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 2005.  For whatever reason, he never played much hockey in North American, only skating in 82 total games between the AHL and ECHL before the call to go back home to the Swedish leagues brought him back to Europe.

What probably didn’t help the young mans confidence in North America was the fact that he was traded by the Los Angeles Kings to the Philadelphia Flyers, who in turned traded him to the Nashville Predators.

While averaging just under 20 minutes in ice time this year, Hersely leads all KHL defensemen with 15 goals.

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Linus Omark, F, Jokerit

The decision for Omark to go to he KHL was probably a good one for him, given that the young prospect was traded from one bad team to another, going from the Edmonton Oilers to the Buffalo Sabres.

Did he get a fair crack at the NHL? He only played in 79 fragmented games for the Oilers and Sabres across three seasons.

I am no where near proposing we start putting back together a reunion train of player, but I wouldn’t consider Omark more than just a rental prospect who probably wasn’t NHL ready yet when he got to Buffalo the first time around.

The KHL collapse is a long shot, and the Buffalo Sabres won’t be the only team pushing for possible NHL viable prospects. Depending on how the salary cap plays out; Buffalo is positioned to prey on teams that could be in cap trouble, so they may not need the KHL players that could be looking for new homes.  It is nice to know that options are out there.

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