According to a report out of from Hockey News SE, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Lawrence Pilut will be leaving the team heading playing in the KHL next season. Pilut is a restricted free agent this summer, which enabled him to make this jump back to playing in Europe.
Buffalobacken Lawrence Pilut, vars säsong officiellt tog slut under tisdagskvällen i och med beskedet att Buffalo har spelat färdigt, är aktuell för en flytt till KHL och Traktor Tjeljabinsk. Det rapporterar ryska medier.https://t.co/uSrj380E80#twittpuck #NHLse #KHL— HockeyNews.se (@HockeynewsSe) May 27, 2020
The 24-year-old defender played the majority of two seasons in the AHL. He only played a total of 46 games in the NHL during his time time with the club. The frustrating part is that he showed potential to be a decent defender when he was given the opportunity, but was pushed down the roster by poor management decisions from Jason Botterill.
In the middle of last season I started to hear that he wasn’t happy with his situation and made his frustrations known internally.
Fwiw my understanding is that Zach Bogosian is not the only defenseman on the roster that has made his displeasure with his situation known to the organization— Chad DeDominicis (@CMDeDominicis) December 31, 2019
Thus, this decision doesn’t come as much of a surprise to me. This is the outcome of a player being forced to play in a league that they shouldn’t be in. The Sabres failed to understand that a 24-year-old doesn’t need more development and should be given the opportunity to sink or swim.
Yet, if the reports are true, the Sabres will lose out on a promising player because they failed to move out the log jam on the blue line. Instead of giving Pilut the opportunity to play in the NHL, they allowed Zach Bogosian to get those minutes.
The Sabres will retain his rights, but it seems the likelihood of him returning to the team if he does indeed leave is slim.