3 forwards the Sabres must stay away from in NHL free agency

The Buffalo Sabres should be in the hunt for a forward in NHL free agency, but there are a few they should stay away from at all costs.
Buffalo Sabres v Vegas Golden Knights
Buffalo Sabres v Vegas Golden Knights / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
2 of 3

Tyler Johnson, Chicago Blackhawks

Tyler Johnson will enter his age-34 season next year, and there is a good chance he will look to join a pending contender, as he spent the last three campaigns playing for a struggling Chicago Blackhawks team. Johnson is one of those players whose best years are behind him, and while he wouldn’t cost much to bring in, someone like him would have been a smart signing for Kevyn Adams about two years ago or even last year had he been on the market. 

In 2022 and 2023, signing potential stopgaps and one-year free agents with some age was a good idea, but the entire point was to fill the position for a year or two and move on. This is the kind of free agent Johnson will turn into, and he would serve either the Blackhawks better by sticking around or playing on a rebuilding team that needs older players to fill a roster spot. 

Johnson won’t help any team win these days, unlike during his nine-year stint with the Tampa Bay Lightning. It would also be hard to decide where to put the 33-year-old, as he’s put up pedestrian numbers since 2019-20, and Johnson also doesn’t look like he would bring much value to the lower lines.