3 former Sabres who Kevyn Adams should not bring back in 2024-25

Fans of the Buffalo Sabres should have a blast projecting who Kevyn Adams will sign in NHL free agency, but they shouldn’t support the potential return of a few players.
Apr 4, 2023; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens (24) attempts to skate past
Apr 4, 2023; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens (24) attempts to skate past / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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There are a couple of free agents who were former Sabres that many fans of the team would like to see return. Sam Reinhart is one of those players who would excite a contingent of the fan base, and if he returned to a much more talented Sabres team following a stint in Miami, he would be the missing piece to fuel a playoff run for a team that’s enjoyed little success for over 13 seasons. 

But there are also former Sabres whom general manager Kevyn Adams must take a hard pass on. While they could bring value to the Blue and Gold, interest of space in the lineup or the fact that they played their best seasons with primarily one franchise would give them a buyer beware label. 

You may welcome one (or all three) of these players back to the City of Good Neighbors, but as it stands, Buffalo is better off pursuing other options in free agency this summer. 

Brandon Montour, D

Adding experience to the blue line would be a hit-or-miss, something we learned last season when Kevyn Adams brought in an intriguing product in Connor Clifton and an experienced former Stanley Cup Champion in Erik Johnson. The results, at best, were so-so. You can even say neither lived to expectations, and that alone makes it a risk to try again on another seasoned veteran. 

Plus, the Sabres also have a solid group of defensemen already, and the unit is young enough to build chemistry that would last for the rest of the 2020s. Bringing in a player like Montour, despite his 106 points and 24 goals across his previous 146 regular season games, puts such chemistry at risk. 

There also wouldn’t be much room to add Montour if Adams does, and should, elect to keep rolling with his young players, plus Clifton. Sure, Montour would be another physical player who has scoring potential, much like Bowen Byram, but an older version. 

Yet while the Sabres should be looking to add seasoned vets, they still need to prioritize their younger talent already at or will be at the NHL level full-time. Montour won’t help that cause, especially if the Sabres plan on moving Ryan Johnson to the big club between October 2024 and April 2025.