Buffalo Sabres offseason: Important dates for draft, free agency, buyouts

Matt Cardy

With the regular season now over, here's a list of the important dates for Sabres fans to put in their calendar.

SB Nation 2014 NHL Playoff Bracket

The NHL regular season is over, the playoffs are in full swing (and we do hope you're watching - they've been great so far) but what's next for everyone's favorite 30th place team, the Buffalo Sabres?

We've gathered up every important date for the Sabres between now and free agency opening this summer, so keep this page bookmarked and keep your calendars updated for the big news and events over the next few months.

May 9-25 - IIHF World Championships

The Sabres have a number of players participating the World Championships, including Jhonas Enroth, Cody Hodgson, Jake McCabe, and Tyler Myers. It's not quite the playoffs, but it's always interesting to see who performs well on the international stage. McCabe and Team USA open things up on May 9 against host Belarus.

June 1 - What will happen with the Islanders pick?

Islanders GM Garth Snow has until the first of June to determine the fate of his next two first round draft picks, but we've already heard rumblings that the Islanders will likely keep this year's #5 selection, giving the Sabres their 2015 first rounder. Still, this is the drop-dead date for that decision should Snow (or another GM) hem and haw over it.

June 15 OR 48 hours after the Stanley Cup Finals end (whichever is later) - Buyout period begins

The last possible day for a game 7 of the Cup Finals would be June 19, making the last day for the buyout period to begin June 21. However, if the playoffs scoot along quickly, the buyouts could happen as soon as June 15. plan your Goodbye Ville Leino parties accordingly.

June 25-30 - Free agent interview window

A new wrinkle in the most recent CBA allows teams to interview potential free agents for five days before the start of free agency. The Sabres likely won't be going after any of the big fishes in the pond, but here we might get the first glimpse of who Tim Murray and company are interested in.

June 27-28 - 2014 NHL Draft

With the #2 selection in the 2014 NHL Draft, the Buffalo Sabres are proud to select...*insert future All-Star player here*

July 1 - Free agency begins

Will the Sabres make a play to bring Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson, or Steve Ott back into the fold? How much will they have to overpay to get free agents to come to Buffalo? The fun begins on the first day of July.

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