Buffalo Sabres Rumored To Be Going After All-Star NHL Goalie
The Buffalo Sabres are watching the NHL playoffs for a 12th straight year, however, this past season was the best for the franchise since the last made the playoffs in 2011.
General manager Kevyn Adams and head coach Don Granato has built a young and talented roster, who is primed for a playoff run next season. If it wasn't for the 8-game losing streak in the middle of the season, the Sabres would have made the postseason and have broken that drought.
The biggest piece the Sabres were missing this past season was the goaltender.
The team just didn't get the goaltending they needed night in and night out. By the time Devon Levi showed up in April, it was too little too late.
There's zero doubt Levi is the future in net. He's probably NHL ready right now, which is rare for a 20-year-old goalie, but there's now talk of the Sabres going after a big-name goalie to assure they have a playoff spot next season.
According to an article from The Athletic, the Sabres have heavy interest in pursuing all-star goalie, Connor Hellebuyck this off-season.
Hellebuyck and the Winnipeg Jets are likely not going to be on the same page for a new contract. The soon-to-be 30-year-old has one year remaining on his contract, with a $6 million cap hit and a $7.5 million base salary in 2023-2024. After that, he's an unrestricted free agent.
The Sabres have the prospects and cap room to make this kind of trade happen. No doubt another goalie goes in return, with probably a hot young prospect or two, and a draft pick or two -- just depending on what the Jets prefer.
If Hellebuyck doesn't want to sign a new deal, the Jets have to trade him this year. They don't have a ton of leverage in this scenario.
This would mean Levi would be able to split duties or maybe even spend a little time in Rochester for a season, if Buffalo is truly interested in Hellebuyck. This move would make the Sabres an instant contender. He's one of the three or four best goalies in the NHL and the Sabres roster is poised for a breakthrough season.
We will see what transpires, as the New Jersey Devils are also rumored to be interested.