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
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Give Peyton Krebs a bridge deal and keep him on the lower lines

Since the Sabres traded for Peyton Krebs in 2021, he’s never evolved into the prolific scorer the team may have envisioned. Krebs has played in 148 games over the past two seasons as of April 4th, and he has just 13 goals and 41 points in that stretch with a minus-6 rating. 

But there are quite a few reasons why he needs to stay in the Queen City, with the first being his overall improvement in winning faceoffs, which has climbed from a meager 35.3 percent in 2021-22 to 46.9 percent this season. It’s still not an ideal number, but he’s becoming more reliable in the faceoff dot, and the Sabres need that. 

The Sabres aren’t a physical team, but like Zemgus Girgensons in the previous slide, Krebs is also an outlier, finishing over one check per game on average. He’s becoming another one of those “glue players,” and he also plays a bigger role in the offensive zone than his points production shows. 

Krebs’ 52.3 Corsi For shows us that he’s helping to generate more shots for the Sabres than he’s facing from opponents at 5-on-5, and that’s further reflected in the fact he’s been on the ice for more goals scored in the same situation than the team has allowed. Like Girgensons, his on-ice save percentage at 5-on-5 is also stellar, sitting at 92.1 as the season winds down.