3 pending free agents the Sabres must bring back in 2024-25

The Buffalo Sabres are better off looking toward the 2024-25 season and taking notes on which players are worth keeping around.
Mar 2, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA;  Buffalo Sabres left wing Zemgus Girgensons (28) celebrates his
Mar 2, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Zemgus Girgensons (28) celebrates his / Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 4

There are a plethora of Buffalo Sabres players who don’t need to return next season, with unrestricted free agents like Victor Olofsson, Tyson Jost, and Eric Robinson likely playing their final games in a blue and gold uniform. That said, today’s list will include just one unrestricted free agent who has once again shown that they still hold a lot of value on the lower lines. 

So, we’re mainly talking about restricted free agents today. And there is one player in that crop who will keep calling the Queen City home - goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.

Luukkonen’s numbers haven’t been as sharp lately, but it’s also tough to pin all the blame on him. The 25-year-old has become one of the league’s better No. 1 goaltenders, and everything, from his 0.910 save percentage to his five shutouts drives that point home. 

Luukkonen isn’t the only pending free agent the Sabres must retain 

Besides Luukkonen, there are two more restricted free agents in the current lineup whom general manager Kevyn Adams must bring back no matter what. These players won’t be perennial stars, but they play important roles and will help maintain depth with the big club. 

Note that we will not discuss any player who is currently playing in the AHL, so you won’t see anyone wearing an Amerks uniform listed or even those who are currently in Rochester but also saw more than a few games with the Blue and Gold. 

Now that we got the basics out of the way and spoke a little about the inevitable extension coming Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s way, which three players must be back in a Sabres uniform for 2024-25? Here’s a hint: The first name mentioned is the lone unrestricted free agent on the list, and he is a player I never thought I’d mention when the puck first dropped in October.