It says something about the atmosphere that has been around the Buffalo Sabres for the past several seasons when a player is willing to forgo potentially millions of dollars simply to have a chance to go and play somewhere else. That was exactly what happened this week when the Sabres and veteran defenseman Zach Bogosian made the move to terminate his contract and place him on unconditional waivers, a move that will effectively make him a free agent just a few minutes from the time of this writing. The question now of course is weill Bogosian be back in the National Hockey League before the end of the 2019 - 2020 National Hockey League regular season, and it sounds like he will be, and which team will he be playing for if he does indeed continue to play this season.
Although no one knows the answer to that question for sure we may not have to wait very long for that answer to materialize. According to a report from TSN National Hockey League insider Darren Dreger, there are currently at least 4 teams that are being viewed as "strong contenders" for the services of the veteran blue liner, 2 on each side of the border. On Saturday morning Dreger revealed that the Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, Carolina Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Penguins were all vying for the services of the 29 year old and given the needs of all those teams on the blue line we may be in for a fierce battle.
It's hard to gauge exactly where Bogosian is currently at this stage of his career, it is true that he has looked rather poor at times this season in terms of his performance on the ice but there are some mitigating circumstances. Bogosian has spent the last 6 seasons as a member of the Buffalo Sabres and players in that organization have publicly admitted at times that the losing that surrounds the team has beaten them down and damaged their will to play the game that they love. We are not talking 4th liners here either with players like well respected veteran Patrik Berglund walking away from millions of dollars and even captain Jack Eichel admitted early on in his young career that he has been affected by it at times.
It is clear that at least 4 teams in the NHL believe he can help improve their blue line however, the question now is which one of them will convince Bogosian to sign a brand new deal when he becomes an unrestricted free agent at noon today.