Seven Questions For The Buffalo Sabres Going Forward

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Feb 15, 2015; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov (51) celebrates his goal against the Philadelphia Flyers with defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (55) during the second period at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

5. Defensive Uncertainty

Another spot where there are several questions for the Buffalo Sabres: the blueline. The Sabres have a heap of defensemen, but what will the blueline look like at the start of next season?

Andrej Meszaros, Andre Benoit and Tyson Strachan will all became UFAs on July 1 unless the team signs them before the deadline. Will any of them return to Buffalo next season?

Looking at the pipeline, the Sabres have Zach Bogosian, Josh Gorges, Mike Weber, Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov all locked up in defense for next season. Mark Pysyk has been steadily developing in the AHL and should get a good look for a starting spot in Buffalo next season.

Does that make Meszaros, Benoit and Strachan expendable? I’d argue that the first two are more than likely going to sign elsewhere. Strachan may or may not return, and if he does, the Sabres would have a little core of seven d-men heading into the 2015-2016 season, with guys like Jake McCabe and Chad Ruhwedel down in the AHL.

Of course – there’s also a possibility that the team adds more blueliners through free agency, or trades away any of these guys around the draft, but provided nothing else changes, that could be your defensive core heading into next year.

Next: What Would Reinhart Do?