The Buffalo Sabres offseason was quite an interesting one after yet another disappointing season. The Sabres decided it would be a good idea to reset the team and get new management and new players to try and reach the ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup. New General Manager Kevyn Adams entered the offseason ready to make some surprising and impactful signings trades.
Normally, the team does not target the big-name free agents; instead opting for smaller name guys that have a low salary attached to them. During the 2020 free agency period, the Sabres strayed from the norm and signed one of the best players on the market to a large contract. If you want to read about what we thought the Buffalo Sabres offseason should have looked like then, check out this article.
Buffalo Sabres Offseason Acquisitions
As previously mentioned, the Buffalo Sabres offseason normally doesn’t include them trying to acquire the biggest and best free agents. They instead go for more role players that fit a need on the team. This Sabres offseason was different as Adams put an emphasis on improving their offense by acquiring two extremely polished NHL goal scorers and drafting one of the top goal scorers in the draft.
Surprising lots of hockey fans and players around the world, the Buffalo Sabres won the sweepstakes for prized free agent, Taylor Hall. Hall is a 29-year-old forward that will play alongside franchise star Jack Eichel. The combination of Hall and Eichel will hopefully create a formidable duo for the Sabres and help advance them into the playoffs. With 10 years of NHL experience under his belt Hall will be ready for his chance to finally contend for a Stanley Cup.
Adams continued the strong Buffalo Sabres offseason by adding more scoring as he acquired center, Eric Staal, from the Minnesota Wild. Staal is a 35-year-old all-star center who looks ready to play on the second line alongside wingers Jeff Skinner and Victor Olofsson. Not only is Staal a great player on the ice but is also a great leader off the ice. The former captain of the Carolina Hurricanes actually played with his new general manager during the 2007 season when they won the Stanley Cup. In the end, the trade to acquire Staal should be a positive one and make the Sabres have a legit shot at making the playoffs.
Buffalo Sabres Key Losses
Although the Buffalo Sabres offseason had seen them acquire lots of talent they also had to lose some players to make room for the new acquisitions. Adams had to make some tough decisions to try and make his team better now and in the future.
A shifty Swedish playmaker was the first player to be traded under the Kevyn Adams regime. Marcus Johannson was dealt with the Minnesota Wild in Adam’s first trade. This deal brought Staal to Buffalo. The Sabres will definitely miss Johannson’s presence in the locker room and on the ice. During his lone season with the Sabres Johannson played a key role for the team. He played on the second line and contributed 30 points for the team. The Wild will definitely love what Johannsson brings to their team.
Former Hobey Baker winner and Harvard star Jimmy Vesey did not find much success during his one-year stint with the Buffalo Sabres. After being acquired before the 2019-20 season, Vesey produced at a decent level. Vesey scored nine goals and added eleven assists for twenty total points. Kevyn Adams decided to not bring back Vesey to the Sabres after the disappointing season. The Toronto Maple Leafs swooped in and signed Vesey to a contract worth $900,000 for one season. Vesey hopefully will flourish in Toronto when he is surrounded by a lot more talent on offenses.
After a very eventful Buffalo Sabres offseason, the Sabres should be in contention for the playoffs and beyond. The dynamic duo of Taylor Hall and Jack Eichel should be a nightmare for opposing teams to match up against. Eric Staal will gel nicely with Jeff Skinner to create one of the best top-six forward groups in the entire league. Buffalo Sabres fans should be very excited about the upcoming season.
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