One goaltender the Buffalo Sabres are in prime position to sign

There is no doubt the Buffalo Sabres need to address their issues at goaltender, and it should be the top priority this offseason.

While the Buffalo Sabres know they need a goaltender for 2022-23, they also don’t want to break the bank. It has also been noted and reinforced that Kevyn Adams does not want to sign a franchise goaltender and “block out” the likes of Devon Levi, Erik Portillo, and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.

But here’s the issue: Luukkonen has given us no reason to believe he’s the goalie of the future while Levi and Portillo are still unsigned. So right now, general manager Kevyn Adams is playing the what-if game.

Despite the what-ifs involved, he is taking the long view, the right view. While that means we won’t see a big money goaltender (or any free agent, for that matter) coming to town, we also know Adams is using foresight to sign franchise cornerstones like Rasmus Dahlin to lucrative long-term deals.

The Buffalo Sabres will go with an economical, yet established goaltender

Earlier in the week, I outlined a few goaltenders the Sabres could either trade for or sign based on comments made by Lance Lysowski in a recent mailbag. One name I left off the list in both articles was Braden Holtby. But he may be the goaltender in the best position to sign with the Sabres.

While a recent article from The Buffalo News‘  Mike Harrington tells us that names like Holtby, Darcy Kuemper, and Jack Campbell may generate interest. However, Campbell may want a long-term deal, something the Sabres don’t want from a free agent goaltender.

Kuemper’s projected asking price following a season where he made $4.5 million is also outside the team’s interest. You can say the same for Ville Husso and Mark-Andre Fleury. And while the names mentioned earlier this week are up for grabs, Holtby may be the most logical option.

He also didn’t have a bad season, finishing the year 10-10-1 with a 0.913 save percentage and an average of 2.78 goals allowed per game. Because of his age, Holtby is another goaltender the Sabres can consider signing that won’t cause a controversy in the net. Giving someone like Luukkonen the benefit of the doubt that he may be the guy moving forward.

At least until Levi or Portillo sign. If they sign. But one thing is clear: Kevyn Adams, barring a smokescreen, is uninterested in bringing in a big-name, high-priced goaltender. Braden Holtby, at a projected $8 million deal over two seasons, fits the billing Adams is looking for. Expect the Sabres to at least consider his services.