3 dynamic offseason moves that will end the Sabres playoff drought next season

After 71 games, the Buffalo Sabres are still quite a few points back in the NHL playoff race, and it doesn’t look like they have enough time to mount a comeback.
Buffalo Sabres v Seattle Kraken
Buffalo Sabres v Seattle Kraken / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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The Buffalo Sabres aren’t necessarily out of the playoff race, but with a points total in the low 70s after 71 games, it looks all but certain that the Blue and Gold won’t be playing hockey during the second half of April 2024. The team took a collective step back, but they still improved defensively, and that was much-needed after they allowed an eye-popping 300 goals in 2022-23. 

Unfortunately, it came at the expense of the team’s offensive play, and that led to an overall subpar outing. The good news, however, is that the Sabres spent one season playing sensational offense while they were more than respectable defensively. 

At the time of this writing, Buffalo still sits in the top half of the league in goals allowed with 207 (13th-lowest as of March 21st), and they have a goaltender who could get some votes for the Vezina in Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. But until they find a way to punch a ticket into the postseason, it’s tough to call the Sabres a good hockey team, even if they are still trending that way. 

Sabres need to make a few moves this offseason to end playoff drought

At the absolute least, the Sabres don’t have a ton of holes on their projected lineup for next season, especially if they call up a few prospects from Rochester onto the main club when the puck drops in October 2024. But even if general manager Kevyn Adams decided to go that direction, it doesn’t mean he can ignore this team’s pressing needs. 

They need at least one more dynamic goal-scorer, and there is one player on a rival team who could remedy that. They could still use more toughness and perhaps another glue guy following Kyle Okposo’s trade to the Florida Panthers, and if they don’t re-sign Zemgus Girgensons.