With the NHL trade deadline less than three weeks away, everyone in Sabres Nation is wondering what General Manager Darcy Regier will do.
During a segment on Schopp and the Bulldog this past week, Regier was asked if he will be a seller and his response was “not yet”. Regier added the Sabres might be selling and buying. He said moves might happen at the trade deadline or they could happen over the summer.
The Sabres certainly have some parts that would draw interest around the league. You have big names like Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville and Ryan Miller, all of whom will be unrestricted free agents after next season. Those three will account for just under $19 million in cap space.
You also have rental players like Robyn Regehr, Jordan Leopold and Jochan Hecht who will all be free agents this summer.
If you’re wondering about what moves the Sabres might make to improve the franchise, you must always keep in mind the salary cap.
More than $11 million in cap room will be cleared out due to expiring contracts for not only Regehr, Leopold and Hecht but Adam Pardy, Alexander Sulzer and John Scott as well.
In addition, Cody Hodgson, Jhonas Enroth, Mike Weber and Brian Flynn will all be restricted free agents and Hodgson seems like the only lock to be back at this point. Although Flynn has fared well during his brief time with the Sabres.
The Sabres can change the makeup of their defense corps since the only players under contract beyond this season are Tyler Myers, Christian Ehrhoffand Andrej Sekera.
As far as next season is concerned, the Sabres have 15 players under contract taking up a total of $50.5 million in cap space according tocapgeek.com.
Keep in mind the NHL cap will drop from its current number of $70.2 million to $64.8 for next season. That means the Sabres would have just under $14 million in cap room.
Under the new CBA rules, the Sabres could buy out a player and Ville Leino would be a prime candidate for that move. Leino, who was a major disappointment last season, has a $4.5 million cap number through the 2016-2017 season.