3 players the Sabres must avoid trading for in the 2024 offseason

The Buffalo Sabres must make a big trade or two this summer, but there are a few players general manager Kevyn Adams should avoid trying to acquire.
Jan 11, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA;  Ottawa Senators defenseman Jakob Chychrun (6) tries to block
Jan 11, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA; Ottawa Senators defenseman Jakob Chychrun (6) tries to block / Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
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The Buffalo Sabres have several solid options who could be potential trade chips this summer. But there are others who they need to be more leery about, and concerns for the players listed in this article range from their current contract to those who would be a “nice, but not necessary” addition. 

To be honest, the following players would help the Blue and Gold if general manager Kevyn Adams traded for them. Yet just because they would make adequate additions, they wouldn’t help take the Sabres as far as candidates listed in previous pieces. 

So, who should Adams avoid this trade season, even if settling for them wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing for Buffalo? 

Reilly Smith, W

If Kevyn Adams wants to add years of experience to his forward group, someone like Reilly Smith would make a realistic option. He won the Stanley Cup in 2023, and the journeyman has played at least a handful of NHL games each season since 2011-12; he was once again productive in what has been his lone season so far in Pittsburgh, where he had 40 points and 13 goals with the Penguins while averaging over 16 minutes of ice time per contest. 

But there are a few concerns regarding Smith, one of which is the state of his current contract. The $4 million he’s owed this season isn’t the issue, but the fact that he’s in the final year of his deal and heading into his age-33 season are a couple of areas of concern. 

While the Sabres undoubtedly must acquire someone to help them win now, they’re also not in a position to add players who will help them win for only a potential one-year window. Instead, the Blue and Gold find themselves on a rung where they still want to trade for players who have long-term potential, like Pavel Buchnevich, if we’re talking about those in the final seasons of their respective contracts.