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Insiders Weigh in On Sabres’ Rumored Interest in Hellebuyck

The Buffalo Sabres reportedly have interest in goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, but not everyone agrees pursuing him is the best idea.

The future of netminder Connor Hellebuyck with the Winnipeg Jets remains uncertain. As the team goes through what is expected to be some sizeable offseason changes, and as the goaltender approaches unrestricted free agency next July, whether he stays with the Jets or winds up elsewhere before then is unclear. Speculation surrounds the 30-year-old, with the New Jersey Devils and the Buffalo Sabres emerging as potential suitors if a blockbuster trade were on the table.

The Sabres, in particular, are rumored to have interest and could greatly benefit from landing a proven number-one goalie to boost their playoff aspirations, notes multiple journalists and insiders.

Connor Hellebuyck Winnipeg Jets NHL 2

As per a report from The Athletic’s Michael Russo and Eric Duhatschek, the Sabres have a genuine interest in acquiring Hellebuyck. Landing a goalie of his caliber could take them one step farther along their path to be considered serious contenders, while also providing a mentor and insurance policy for promising young prospect, Devon Levi. Levi might be the goalie of the future in Buffalo, but whether he’s ready to take that step now remains to be seen.

Fellow Athletic scribe Matthew Fairburn weighed in on the discussion and agreed that Hellebuyck would be the best option for the Sabres, especially when considering the limited choices available in this summer’s free agent and trade markets. Fairburn suggests exploring the possibility of a trade if the Jets’ makes sense if the team can do so without sacrificing their top prospects like Matthew Savoie or Jiri Kulich.

Joe Dibiase of @WGR550 and Locked on Sabres tweets, “Say what you want about irresponsibility paying that much for a goaltender, but Connor Hellebuyck would make the Buffalo Sabres a Stanley Cup contender IMMEDIATELY.”

Not Everyone Agrees Hellebuyck Is The Right Choice

Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News isn’t as sold on Hellebuyck as the others are. He suggests Sabres GM Kevyn Adams do his due diligence and look into Hellebuyck’s availability, there is a major risk in acquiring a player who could potentially become a free agent next summer. The high cost associated with such a trade and then opening themselves up to the possibility he decides to explore other options in free agency is not ideal.

Pursuing Hellebuyck would undoubtedly strengthen their goaltending position but adding the pending free agent must be weighed against the cost of acquiring him in a trade and the likelihood he’s not a part of the team very long. Some don’t care about the consequences, as Joe Marino of The Charging Buffalo points out, “It’s jarring seeing the amount of Sabres fans saying “no thanks” to the idea of Connor Hellebuyck after we’ve dealt with the steaming hot pile of garbage between the pipes for the last 10 years. It can’t hurt to pair Levi with a stud, who cares if he’s a rental.”

The speculation surrounding the star goaltender’s future will be a major storyline this offseason.

Next: Rangers Reportedly Ready to Trade Barclay Goodrow

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