If The NHL Offers Two Contract Buyouts, Should The Sabres Use Both?

Rick Stewart

Should anyone else join Ville Leino on the list of potential contract buyout candidates?

A few weeks ago, the NHL offered each team one contract buyout before the 2013-14 season. And there was much rejoicing.

Then, the NHL offered each team two contract buyouts, and everyone said "Oh. Sure, I guess."

Among Sabres fans, there's no doubt who leads the pack for Buffalo's first buyout: Ville Leino. But should the Sabres exercise their option to use a second contract buyout, were that option to be included in a new CBA? Below we have a few non-Leino candidates for buyout, because as much as you want to, you can't buyout Leino twice.

Drew Stafford

Stafford will be getting paid $4 million per season for the next three years, but is that the right price for a winger who's only cracked 50 points twice? Stafford is something of a lightning rod when he's not producing, which is often, but when he's on, there are fewer players in the league that can get hotter. Are those hot streaks worth keeping him around during the extended cold ones?

Thomas Vanek

Yes, this might be heresey to some fans. But Vanek's $7.1 million cap hit is by far the largest among forwards, and the soon-to-be-29 year old isn't getting any younger. The fact that he's averaged 63 points per season over the past 5 years doesn't exactly put him among the league's elite, even though his salary says otherwise. Sure, he might be the best offensive threat on the team, but his contract is still worth more than he is as a player.

Adam Pardy

Acquired in the Roy-Ott trade, Pardy looks to be purely a depth defenseman this season, and is unlikely to crack the top six. The problem with that outcome is his $2 million salary - it's only on the books for one year, but that's still waaaaay too much to pay a guy who should only see the ice during injury time.

Nathan Gerbe

You won't find a single person in Buffalo who doesn't like Gerbe's heart, work ethic, and fearlessness. The problem is that he hasn't produced much beyond that in his Sabres debut. The Sabres are paying $1.45 million for a guy who is likely to score in the mid 20's as far as points go. It's a hefty price considering he won't be physically intimidating opponents anytime soon.

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