The summer is only getting hotter for Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterhill. The poor guy is under a lot of pressure now that he must find a way to free up some salary cap room. Following the recent re-signings of goalie Linus Ullmark and defenseman Jake McCabe, the Sabres are currently sitting over $1 million above the $81.5-million salary cap.
According to Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News, the Sabres will have no other choice than to trade one or two players, and finally revealed who is being pushed on the chopping block.
While Buffalo could use it second buyout window to shed a contract, Lysowski believes it might be worth it to test the trade market first.
The insider suggests trying to move defensemen Marco Scandella and Matt Hunwick, who could draw interest from clubs seeking blue line depth. On top of that, he reminds all rival teams that defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has been involved in trade chatter since the start of the summer and could finally get moved.
The Sabres are reportedly seeking a top-six forward in return and that would offset Ristolainen’s $5.4-million cap hit. Lysowski also speculates they could also try to buy time until Zach Bogosian is healthy and then attempt to move him.
If not, the Sabres could settle in trying to buy out a contract. Forward Vladimir Sobotka, who would get very little trade interest, could be a possible buyout candidate. Buying out Sobotka would free up $2 million in cap space for the coming season.
Let’s see what the Sabres end up doing, but they have to do something!