NHL Trade Speculation: The Buffalo Sabres’ Possible Salary-Dump Options


After darting out of the gates at the start of the offseason, the Buffalo Sabres have slowed down a bit in recent weeks. With essentially no moves being made in the NHL at the moment, that is to be expected. Few teams did more to improve than the Sabres this offseason, as they traded for defenseman Robyn Regehr, and signed defenseman Christian Ehrhoff and forward Ville Leino.  

Going from a penny-pinching organization under previous owner Tom Golisano to a free-spending one under current owner Terry Pegula certainly comes with its rewards. At the same time, the Sabres have a completely new set of problems to deal with, the foremost being the salary cap.

As the team with the league’s highest payroll, the Sabres are currently in a situation they’ve never been in before. At slightly more than $3 million over the cap, Buffalo will have to make some moves in order to get under the $64 million salary ceiling. The obvious transactions to accomplish that would be burying the combined $5 million of forward Ales Kotalik and defenseman Shaone Morrisonn in AHL Rochester.

This would ensure that neither Kotalik nor Morrisonn count against the cap, and it would mean the Sabres wouldn’t necessarily have to make any other cost-cutting moves. Of course, Buffalo will want to have some available cap space next season so they have the flexibility to make an impact deal at the trade deadline should they be in contention as expected. This would necessitate Buffalo possibly executing a salary-dump trade.

The Sabres have no shortage of higher-salary players who might be attractive to other teams, so a trade is most likely there if they want it. The question is whether or not Buffalo values cap flexibility over roster depth.

Here are five potential salary-dump trades should the Sabres decide to go that route.

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