Despite being the first ones in the door, the Buffalo Sabres could not do enough to woo free agent winger Jimmy Vesey, who has announced he will sign with the Rangers.
Sabres GM Tim Murray mentioned that it was a gamble trading a 2016 third round pick for Vesey’s rights, and when you gamble, sometimes you lose. Personally, I think a third rounder was an appropriate asset to use in this manner, but regardless of how you value the pick, it’s still an asset lost in the end.
With #VeseyWatch finally, mercifully over, the Sabres roster appears to be set, barring a very late free agent signing or unexpected trade. Here’s our best guess at how things shake out next year among the forward lines:
That lineup looks similar to what we saw last year, but with a few key changes. The most obvious change of course is the addition of Kyle Okposo, who adds another strong, speedy play maker to the top six and the power play. The other changes will involve player progression - how much better will Eichel and Reinhart be next year, and can Moulson or Ennis recapture their scoring touch?
If the answer to all those progression questions is negative, then the Sabres will only be marginally better up front than they were last season. But if some, or all, of those answers is positive, then Buffalo should see a sharp uptick in offensive production.
Anyway, let’s hear your final thoughts on Vesey in the comments, and then we can all move on with our lives.