Power ranking the toughest decisions the Sabres will face in the 2024 offseason

Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams will face more than his fair share of tough decisions in the 2024 offseason, so let’s rank the seven hardest ones.
Buffalo Sabres v Florida Panthers
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A few days back, I wrote about a few seemingly unreasonable moves that would make sense for the Sabres. What I didn’t discuss was how tough these decisions could be, and that’s what we’re talking about today. Just because a decision could make sense doesn’t mean it will be easy for general manager Kevyn Adams, and they’re worth a deeper dive.

There are many what-ifs going on as May fades into June, ranging from weighing the pros and cons of signing a veteran goaltender and allowing Devon Levi to play in Rochester or bringing him up to play full-time in the NHL to a contract extension for one certain eligible player. 

We’re not talking about why a decision would make sense or anything like that, but simply looking further into the pros and cons of the following seven decisions that Kevyn Adams must make in the 2024 offseason. We’ll start with something that not too many fans think about but is nonetheless important before ending with whether to extend some current talent. 

7: Which restricted free agents to extend a qualifying offer

This is an interesting one because there are four notable restricted free agents not named Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen whom Kevyn Adams must make a decision on. But not all of them have performed equally well over the past few seasons, with Peyton Krebs being the front runner. 

But Krebs’ ceiling looks like he’s a fourth-liner as opposed to a top-six scorer, as I’m sure it’s what Kevyn Adams wanted from the former first-round pick. Nevertheless, Krebs has the potential to be one of the NHL’s most physical defensive forwards, and that brings value to the Sabres. 

The other three are blueliners Henri Jokiharju, Kale Clague, and Jacob Bryson. I won’t dive too much into them, but the trio’s fate rests with Adams’ vision for the defensive rotation. Does he look to move someone like Connor Clifton and/or plan to call up Ryan Johnson for a full season in the NHL? 

Such variables will decide on whether Jokiharju, Clague, or Bryson stay in the system. Adams will need a lot of foresight as to who he will keep on the blue line if he decides to retain any of them.