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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Dominik Kubalik, Forward/Ottawa Senators

Depending on who stays and who goes, the Sabres must find a way to strengthen their lower lines. Kyle Okposo is already gone, and Eric Robinson, Zemgus Girgensons, Tyson Jost, and even Peyton Krebs (an RFA) can also be on their respective way out, leaving quite the void at forward. 

Dominik Kubalik won’t just fill the lower lines, but he could also be a productive piece to the scoring puzzle. Yes, he’s had an awful year offensively despite scoring 11 goals as he’s logged just four helpers, but it’s also worth noting that his average total ice time is just 12:18, by far the lowest of his career. 

What makes Kubalik so interesting is that he has, in the past, averaged roughly 0.675 points per game, which was the case during his rookie season in the league with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2019-20. He also found the net 30 times in the shortened season and displayed a fair two-way game, so there is a good chance he could emulate his past performances with the right team. 

His advanced numbers in Ottawa aren’t up to scratch, and this is yet another reason he should be out after one season. His Corsi For at 5-on-5 is just 43.7 percent, and this has come with 52.4 percent of his starts occurring in the offensive zone. His on-ice goals for in the same situation is just a measly 15, by far a career-low, and his on-ice goals allowed currently sit at 41. 

But his advanced numbers have also been much better in the past, so he’s worth taking a look at.