We have reached training camp, and the Buffalo Sabres have yet to reach an agreement with defensemen Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power.
Over the summer, I projected that the Buffalo Sabres would have signed at least defenseman Rasmus Dahlin to an extension by the time training camp rolled around. Well, training camp technically opened on Wednesday, with the first practice occurring yesterday, and still, there is no extension for Dahlin or fellow blueliner, Owen Power.
But after hearing Dahlin’s words and those of general manager Kevyn Adams’, there is absolutely zero reason to panic regarding the lack of extension. If Adams refused to address, dodged, or spun questions from the media in yesterday’s news conference, then our hand could at least hover over that panic button. Instead, the following quote from Adams jumped out more than anything else:
"“They’ve clearly indicated to me and to us that this is where they want to be, and they believe in this team, and they believe in the direction we’re headed. So, that’s the start, and then you work from there.” – via Buffalo News"
Source: Sabres to ‘keep pushing’ to sign Rasmus Dahlin, Owen Power long term by Lance Lysowski
Buffalo Sabres GM indicates contract talks trending north with Dahlin, Power
Further, Dahlin kindly reminded everyone that there were still over nine months remaining before he became a restricted free agent (RFA).
"“I have one more year on my contract and I’m not really worried about anything. I love the city. I love the team. I love everything. So, I’m not worried.” – via Buffalo News"
The same goes for Power, and it’s also appropriate to remember that defenseman Mattias Samuelsson didn’t sign his extension until Opening Night Eve last season. Further, center Dylan Cozens also signed one, but it didn’t occur until roughly the halfway mark of the 2022-23 season.
Regardless of the sport, whether it’s hockey, football, basketball, you name it, when contract talks aren’t going well, body language and kind refusal to address the topic isn’t uncommon. This hasn’t been the case with Adams, nor has it been with Dahlin. So until both sides go oddly quiet on the subject, Dahlin’s and Power’s respective extensions are and should remain a non-issue on the panic meter.
Expect contract talks between the Buffalo Sabres and their star defensemen to carry for as long as necessary. But if they keep sounding as though they are trending north, then the fans only need to worry about one thing this season: Winning games, and snapping the playoff drought.