Two RFAs the Sabres should keep and two they shouldn’t

With four players (besides UPL) set to explore free agency, who stays and who goes?
Buffalo Sabres v Montreal Canadiens
Buffalo Sabres v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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Jacob Bryson

Bryson is the third Sabres defenseman who will soon become an RFA. He’s had an up and down four years with the blue and gold, with his best season in 2021-22, where his stats were 73 blocks, 55 hits and 25 takeaways. He also enjoyed 1 goal and 9 assists.

Since then, Bryson’s numbers have plummeted, and his blocks, hits and takeaways this past year were 40, 17 and 4, respectively. One improvement was +/-, where he improved to +5 from -24 the previous season. However, he hasn’t done much else and is usually relegated to the Sabres’ second or third defensive line.

Bryson is not a bad defenseman, but an OK one. That’s fine if the Sabres have no postseason aspirations, but management keeps promising fans they do. If owner Terry Pegula and Kevyn Adams really wish to see Buffalo play games past April, they’ll need every D-line to be stellar, not average or even mediocre. Bryson is not stellar and there’s no compelling reason for the top brass to offer him more salary to stay.