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
Buffalo Sabres v Florida Panthers / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages
4 of 4

2: Include any current players in an offseason trade

Jordan Greenway and Connor Clifton stand out to me as potential trade pieces should something occur over the summer. Greenway has a year left on his deal, but trading him would also mean moving one of the few players who helped the Blue and Gold become a more physical hockey team. 

Connor Clifton took a while to get going, but he also improved as the 2023-24 season wore on. Should the Sabres trade him, not only would they lose their oldest and most experienced defenseman (in NHL experience), but they’re also moving someone who just started figuring things out. 

Neither Greenway nor Clifton factor in as great players, and both would be worth trading at the right price. But they are valuable depth assets who, now that each has a full season in Buffalo, could also be solid and necessary role players. 

1: Short or long-term extension for Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has pretty much played two full seasons in the NHL, even if he didn’t get the initial call-up until November 2022. So far, he had one bad season and one good season, but nobody realized how well he would perform in 2023-24. 

So was last year an outlier, or did we see the real Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen lining up in the crease? He would also head into the 2024-25 season knowing he’s at least the 1A goaltender and isn’t stuck behind Devon Levi. Plus, there should also be no Eric Comrie in town to come out of nowhere and potentially take the spot. 

So far, Kevyn Adams has had mixed results in signing his players to long-term deals. Rasmus Dahlin looks like a winner, and Owen Power had a better year than he was given credit for. Tage Thompson rebounded well and he should pick up where he left off, but Mattias Samuelsson and Dylan Cozens were different stories. So it makes you wonder what the best route would be with Luukkonen if recent history gives us no conclusive results.