BUFFALO, NY - APRIL 24: Brian Boucher #33 of the Philadelphia Flyers stops Drew Stafford #21 of the Buffalo Sabres in the third period in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HSBC Arena at HSBC Arena on April 24, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
The Buffalo Sabres biggest offseason decision came down to what the team was going to do with winger Drew Stafford. The organization answered that question today with the announcement that they signed Stafford to an undetermined contract.
Stafford had his best season last year in a contract year as he ended with 31 goals and 52 points, which was good for second on the team in both categories. He added another goal and two assists in the seven playoff games as well. In the five seasons in Stafford's NHL career, he has only posted more than 25 goals and 50 points once and that came last season.
Stafford has been inconsistent at times and Sabres fans felt that this boom in production was more of a boost for future contract negotiations rather than the player turning the corner. The Sabres felt differently as they showed they believed in Stafford by giving him a contract.
UPDATE: The terms of the contract are 4 years, $16 million which leaves the Sabres with $14.5 million in cap space (assuming no change from last year) and 13 players under contract. $4 million a year seems like a good number for Stafford, but don't be surprised to see complaints of overpayment.