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Buffalo Sabres Figure Best Bet is to Go Free Agent Hunting 2022-25

Patrick Kane and Auston Matthews could be targets for the Buffalo Sabres down the road as the team goes hunting for big-name UFAs.

According to John Vogl of The Athletic, the Buffalo Sabres might be looking at an interesting approach to rebuilding their roster, especially when you consider that the Sabres aren’t exactly an ideal destination for players who have a choice to play elsewhere.

At the best of times, Buffalo is voted among the lesser-desired cities to play in if you’re a player in the NHL. When the club hasn’t won anything in years, it’s really hard to attract free agents to want to consider the organization as a realistic option, unless the money offered is the sole driver and source of motivation for a player who has options. That’s not stopping the Sabres.

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As per Vogl’s recent article, general manager Kevyn Adams is setting up the organization to be in a position to target big-time UFAs. The idea isn’t to do so now, but to time it just right and when the young core of the team is ready to to be difference-makers with any big names the Sabres might land.

Vogl writes:

General manager Kevyn Adams has made his ultimate goal very clear. Once the Sabres’ young core matures, Adams will surround it with established talent.

There’s a lot of talent scheduled to be on the market. The next four summers could feature Hall of Famers, franchise players and All-Stars finding new homes. While Buffalo is not on their radar now, it may be once their contracts are up.

Among the names Vogl drops in the article are Patrick Kane, Leon Draisaitl, Aleksander Barkov and Auston Matthews. The thought is that adding a player of this caliber to play with young prospects like Dylan Cozens, Rasmus Dahlin, Casey Mittelstadt, Owen Power, Jack Quinn, and Isak Rosen will give the Sabres the tools they need to finally be competitive.

Patrick Kane and Auston Matthews could be targets for the Buffalo Sabres down the road

Vogl adds, “The idea of Kane finishing his career in Buffalo and bringing the Cup to his hometown has been bandied about for years.” He notes that this could be one of the players that might actually consider Buffalo as an option since it’s his hometown. Vogl adds that Steven Stamkos becomes available in 2024 and made Buffalo a finalist during his 2016 fling with free agency. Could he consider the team after his stint with Tampa likely comes to an end?

It’s An Interesting Idea

The fact remains, none of these players are likely to choose the Sabres if the organization continues to toil around at the bottom of the NHL standings. So far, the club hasn’t shown an ability to manage their club effectively and it seems like a team that is constantly spinning its wheels, never gaining ground.

Players want to win. Money is important, but the chance at a Stanley Cup is the primary driver in many free agency deals. If the Sabres don’t show they can be a team that has a shot, these big-name free agents won’t even look towards Buffalo as an option.

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