Before the 5 p.m. deadline to extend qualifying offers to restricted free agents, Darcy Regier announced yesterday the Buffalo Sabres' organization offers to Drew Stafford, Andrej Sekera, and Clarke MacArthur.
In terms of importance and how well they played, Drew Stafford is probably the top priority within this young group—but how much is he worth?
Stafford was seventh last year in the scoring department on the Sabres team and tied for third with Jason Pominville in goals.
Every time I pop open an article about Stafford being an RFA, I keep reading about the offer sheet Thomas Vanek received from Edmonton two years ago that the Sabres absolutely had to match.
This could turn out the same way if the team isn't careful.
This is why I ask, how much is Drew Stafford truly worth?
If you compare both players' stats in the year they became an RFA, Vanek's are a lot higher.
You have to remember to compare the two teams though. In 2006-07, the Sabres were almost unstoppable (let's forget about the ECFs for a bit). Vanek didn't have to deal with first-line players because he was a third-line, left winger.
Stafford's stats are pretty good considering how different the team was this year. Points were more evenly spread out. The Sabres were up and down but he managed to get 45 points in 79 games.
Regier has said that he wants to keep all of the RFAs here and that they will match any offer, but would they if Stafford received a lucrative offer just like Vanek did?
It may not be well deserved, but it just goes to show how crazy the league has become with deals nowadays. GMs are afraid of their prized players possibly being nabbed when they're RFAs. In turn, they offer them contracts that include long-term deals with a large amount of money spread throughout.
I can only imagine what will happen when the salary cap is eventually lowered.