5 Buffalo Sabres players who won’t be back next season

The Buffalo Sabres should go through a bit of retooling this offseason to finally end their drought and make the playoffs in 2024-25.
Buffalo Sabres v Arizona Coyotes
Buffalo Sabres v Arizona Coyotes / Zac BonDurant/GettyImages
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Eric Robinson doesn’t bring as much value as other lower-liners

The Sabres will bring back either Zemgus Girgensons or Eric Robinson, but the question was, “Who?” Girgensons has been a fan favorite, but the Robinson trade turned out to be better than we thought. But, when looking at basic and advanced numbers, Girgensons wins out. 

While Robinson is leading Girgensons in points per game, the latter holds the edge in just about everything else. Girgensons is more physical, he can win faceoffs (77 faceoff wins this season), he’s willing to block shots, and he provides far more special teams value. He’s also plus-50 percent in the Corsi at 5-on-5, and in the same situation, the Sabres are logging an incredible 93.9 on-ice save percentage. 

It’s also easy to claim nobody is more valuable to the Sabres since Girgensons is the best “glue player” for the entire team, thanks to his longevity. Should, or when he returns, you can also expect Girgensons to factor in as an alternate captain once more. 

While Robinson has also been plus-50 in the Corsi at 5-on-5 and has a solid 92.7 on-ice save percentage, he’s also not as valuable on special teams with just 12.0 minutes at 4-on-5. Robinson has been more serviceable than everyone figured, but he also hasn’t given us much of a reason to keep him around for another year, or at least at the NHL level.