Sabres Have Big RFA Decisions Coming This Summer

Many of the Sabres young contributors will see their rookie deals run out this summer. Who's worth keeping, and who should the Sabres target first?

After a relatively easy summer in the RFA department last season, the Buffalo Sabres will have their hands full re-signing their restricted free agents both this summer and next.

Taking a look at this summer's RFA crop, GM Darcy Regier will find that many of the guys he's expecting to be main contributors on the team next season will be needing new contracts. Among those whose deals are up, we have:

  • Cody Hodgson - The team's current #1 center and, if Thomas Vanek is gone next year, the man who will likely lead the team in scoring next season
  • Brian Flynn - An AHL/NHL rookie who proved he could handle a third line role with strong possession numbers and high-motor play
  • Corey Tropp - Tropp sat out almost the entire 2012-13 season with a knee injury, but he was a player who seemed destined for the role that Flynn and Kevin Porter eventually earned. He'll get another shot next season, and should start the season in Buffalo
  • Luke Adam - Although he's fallen out of favor with most fans, Rolston knows what he's capable of thanks to their work together in Rochester. He could get another shot to crack the roster next season, especially if the Sabres fully commit to rebuilding
  • Mike Weber - Solid #4/5 defenseman whose role could expand next season, both on the ice and in the locker room
  • Jhonas Enroth - He proved himself a worthy backup with a strong end to the season, and if the Ryan Miller trade rumors prove true, could be Buffalo's #1 tender in 2013-14
  • Matt Hackett - The man who could eventually replace Ryan Miller as future #1 goalie was acquired from Minnesota in the Pominville trade. At the very least, he should challenge Enroth for the backup spot next fall

Other players in the Sabres organization who will be impending RFAs include Drew Schiestel, Nick Crawford, and Jacob Legace.

Most, if not all of the players listed above should receive new contracts from the Sabres this summer; everyone listed will likely be a significant contributor for the 2013-14 Suffering Sabres. However, do you think there's anyone in that list who shouldn't be brought back? Should anyone other than Hodgson be target #1 for Regier and company? Let us know in the comments.