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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Vladimir Tarasenko, Forward/Florida Panthers

Vladimir Tarasenko hasn’t been as productive scoring-wise since he first burst onto the scene with the Florida Panthers. He has just six points in 11 games following a stint in Ottawa that saw him record 41 (17 goals) in 57 contests - but nevertheless, he can still produce. Buffalo could use not just a two-way player but an experienced one who has won a Stanley Cup and could easily win another one this year. 

Whether it’s experience, productivity, a strong voice on and off the ice, or someone who can play solid hockey in all three zones, Tarasenko would benefit a young team like the Sabres in many ways. No, he’s no longer an All-Star or a top-15 candidate for the Hart Trophy in 2024, but his presence on the middle-six could help the Sabres rediscover their high-profile identity with the puck better than a lot of those slated to be pending unrestricted free agents in July. 

Tarasenko is another name on this list who would upgrade a meager power play, and at 5-on-5, he can still get close to 50 percent on the Corsi while his presence on the ice will account for more goals for than goals against. Even with the Senators, the latter number sat at a 42 to 34 ratio.