3 recently traded pending free agents who would ignite the Buffalo Sabres in 2024-25

The Buffalo Sabres need to make a major splash in NHL free agency, and perhaps recently traded players could be the answer for the Blue and Gold.
Buffalo Sabres v Florida Panthers
Buffalo Sabres v Florida Panthers / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages
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The Buffalo Sabres can go in many directions to improve what was a lackluster group last season, and you can argue they took the first step a few weeks back when they brought Lindy Ruff in for another stint as head coach. Although the current lineup hasn’t been anywhere near as bad as it has been in the past, it still isn’t built to be a surefire contender, and perhaps a few players on expiring deals that moved at the March trade deadline could be the answers. 

They may not stick around long-term, as two of the three players mentioned are well into their 30s. But right now, the Blue and Gold need proven talent to at least let them fight with division rivals like the Detroit Red Wings and teams from the Metropolitan like the Pittsburgh Penguins and perhaps the Philadelphia Flyers. 

You know Pittsburgh will be making moves to build around an aging core, and Philadelphia should be looking to make another signing or two so that next season ends in a playoff berth. The “Yzerplan” over in the Motor City made significant strides this past season, and you can expect the same next year. Now, it’s the Sabres turn. 

Adam Henrique could fuel the lower lines for Buffalo

A line featuring Adam Henrique, Zach Benson, and perhaps someone like Jiri Kulich or Isak Rosen would be magnificent for the Sabres. You would have two very young players flanking someone going through their age-34 season, and that alone would make even a one-year agreement with the veteran worth the Sabres while. 

Despite Benson’s small size and age, he surprised many with gritty play this past season. And to add another forward in Henrique who brings even more physical play would also result in a big win for the Sabres. Henrique and Benson would help to solidify a strong third line, while Buffalo potentially promotes another to play wing on the other end. 

You may be asking where this leaves Jordan Greenway, but in this scenario, he would drop to the fourth line. Peyton Krebs would play center if he returns for another two or three seasons, and that would leave the other wing position open. Zemgus Girgensons could return and play the position, or the Sabres could instead look toward free agency or into their prospects pool for the final puzzle piece.