There are a few free agents the Sabres should pursue

June 24, 2019 - 11:20 am

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Teams are into the NHL courting period before, what I call stupid time, gets going on July 1. That's when general managers drastically overpay players to contracts they're sorry for within two or three seasons.

There are a couple of names I'd target if I were Jason Botterill if I could get them for reasonable deals:

1.) Justin Williams

This is a guy who has won multiple Stanley Cups, and is the leader that could maybe help get the young entitlement out of the Sabres dressing room. I thought Jack Eichel made strides as the leader of the Sabres last season, but Williams is a respected leader that Eichel could learn from. The winger was a $4.5 million cap hit for the Hurricanes, and if I could get him for under $5 million, I'd pounce on a two-year deal. Williams is 37-years-old, but still productive, scoring 23 goals and 53 points. I don't think he wants to play any place other than Carolina, but I certainly would try.

2.) Joe Pavelski

The leadership would be the same as Williams, but at 38 goals and 64 points, the 34-year-old still has plenty in the tank. The center's cap hit was $6 million last season and if he'd come for $6.5 million on a two or a three-year deal, I'm in.

3.) Brian Boyle

Boyle's cap hit was $2.55 million with Nashville last season. I think the 34-year-old would be a huge upgrade adding size, leadership and a little scoring to the bottom-six forwards. In 73 games, Boyle netted 18 goals last season.

4.) Michael Ferland

The power winger is only 27-years-old and had a cap hit of $1.75 million with Carolina. He had 17 goals and 40 points in 71 games, but he would add some size with the forwards. Even at a substantial raise, I think he'd be a good addition.

5.) Andrew Copp

This is a player you would get for your fourth line and penalty killing. He's 24-years-old and had 11 goals and 25 points for Winnipeg. I always talk about getting some production out of your fourth line, and Copp would provide that. His cap hit was $1 million.

Other than that, I don't think I'd consider any others. Matt Duchene will cost too much and is not coming to Buffalo. Artemi Panarin is another player that isn't interested in coming here.

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