Is a Alex Tuch and Chandler Stephenson reunion possible?

In looking to replace Casey Mittelstadt, could the Sabres look at Chandler Stephson?
Vegas Golden Knights v Dallas Stars - Game Seven
Vegas Golden Knights v Dallas Stars - Game Seven / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

As the Buffalo Sabres are beginning to look to the offseason, they will need to look at replacing Casey Mittelstadt. They traded Mittelstadt during the season, and after his departure, they seemed to have a glaring need at third line center. One player that they may look to contact is Chandler Stephenson.

Stephenson is a free agent this offseason and he would be a huge addition if the Sabres could snag him. If they could, he would provide a much needed spark on the ice. Stephenson had 51 points this season for the Vegas Golden Knights. Only one center on Buffalo had more points, and that was Tage Thompson at 56.

During the 2023/2024 regular season, Stephenson won 52.6% of his faceoffs. No center on the Sabres cracked above 50%. The closest one was Peyton Krebs at 46.3%. During their Stanley Cup run last year. Stephenson contributed with 10 goals and 10 assists.

If Buffalo can sign him, he would reunite with Alex Tuch. Tuch was a part of the trade that brought Jack Eichel to Vegas. During the 2020/2021 season, both Stephenson and Tuch recorded 30 points during the year. In the playoffs during that season, Chandler contributed to Vegas with six assists. Tuch had four goals and five assists during the postseason.

The Sabres need a 3rd line center and if they we were able to sign Stephenson, they could look at him or Thompson as the starting center. It would take pressure off of Thompson to be the only center Buffalo could look to during crunch time on the ice. Tage averaged 18.7 minutes of ice time this year.

Stephenson has had nine game winning goals the last two years while Thompson had 10. No other center on Buffalo's roster the last two years had more than two. The combination of both Thompson and Stephenson as the centers for next season could be a huge boost to get the Sabres over the hump.