One pending free agent the Sabres can steal from their Atlantic Division rivals in NHL free agency

The Buffalo Sabres proved to us this season that they are ready to scale up and add more relevant talent from the outside and perhaps familiar talent.
Buffalo Sabres v Detroit Red Wings
Buffalo Sabres v Detroit Red Wings / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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The Buffalo Sabres didn’t take the step forward we needed them to with a lineup that started the year as a virtual mirror image - sans a few positions - of last season. For 2024-25, that won’t work as the team could face monumental changes if general manager Kevyn Adams doesn’t put a better product onto the ice or if head coach Don Granato struggles to get consistency from the group - assuming he’s still around. 

Luckily, the Sabres aren’t a half-bad team, and they have shown us on more than a few occasions they can flat-out dominate even talented opponents - like the Toronto Maple Leafs last December, even if the latest game didn’t go as planned or more recently, the Vegas Golden Knights. That said, they don’t need to bring in a superstar to transform this team, just a complementary scorer or two to help them finally reach the next level. 

Below, you will meet a few of those complementary scorers and other role players who are slated to be unrestricted free agents. Each player is also familiar to Buffalo as they currently play in the Atlantic Division. Keep reading to discover who these seven players are - six forwards and one defenseman - and how they would help the Sabres in 2024-25 if they came to Western New York. 

James van Riemsdyk, Forward/Boston Bruins

This list will comprise a mixture of older players, and James van Riemsdyk will bring 15 seasons’ worth of experience to the Blue and Gold if he ultimately enters the free agent market. He hasn’t been outstanding as of late, but van Riemsdyk would help the Sabres address what could be a weakness next season - the bottom-six. 

They already lost Casey Mittelstadt to the Colorado Avalanche and Kyle Okposo to the Florida Panthers, but with a few more slated to enter free agency this offseason, van Riemsdyk would make for a good stopgap should Buffalo need another asset even after they inevitably call up a few prospects. 

James van Riemsdyk has just 11 goals on the year, but six have come on the power play. He has 12 points total on the man advantage, and a player who could bring more to the unit next season would be a luxury for the Sabres after what has been a miserable year at 5-on-4 this year.