Available Free Agents That Would Be Good Fits for the Buffalo Sabres
As the available free agents begin to dwindle, the Buffalo Sabres are left with fewer options to aid them in their rebuilding process.
Despite having fewer options than those available on July 5, the Sabres still have the ability to bring in a few players that will help them moving forward.
This list does not consider any restricted free agents, including the Sabres' own RFAs, due to the unlikeliness of any such signings occurring.
1. Mason Raymond
Mason Raymond is probably one of the more enigmatic players left on the market.
Raymond has had three straight tough seasons after scoring 25 goals in 2009-10. Since then, he has had the proverbial monkey on his back, never scoring more than 15 since.
Raymond was one of Vancouver's few highly touted prospects of the last decade, so his rise into the Vancouver lineup was under the microscope, to say the least. Despite his early success, Raymond was never able to land solid top-six minutes with the Canucks, which clearly impacted his production.
The Sabres would likely be able to benefit from adding Raymond to the lineup. With Thomas Vanek's and Drew Stafford's futures up in the air, the Sabres can benefit from a player like Raymond's skill set.
Raymond has been linked to the Calgary Flames in recent days, but TSN's Darren Dreger says that they have not even begun discussions. Don't be surprised to hear the Sabres poking around about Raymond.
Likelihood of Signing: Decent Chance
2. Brendan Morrow
Brendan Morrow saw his best chance at the Stanley Cup in his career literally swept away by the Boston Bruins during the playoffs.
Morrow is certainly not the 30-goal scorer he was earlier in his career, but he still is a force on the ice and an excellent presence in the locker room. The latter would be great for a young Sabres team looking to rebuild.
Morrow has garnered plenty of interest across the market and is likely trying to sign with a contender to take a another few swings at the cup, but given a likely expanded role with the Sabres, he may chose to join the Sabres' ranks.
Likelihood to Sign: Low
3. Damien Brunner
Damien Brunner made quite the impression in his first year as an NHL player.
Brunner, formerly of the Swiss A league, played very well in his first stint in the NHL, posting 26 points in 44 games for the Detroit Red Wings. He showed slick hands and a penchant for being where he was supposed to be on the ice.
For some, this may be a bit too familiar, with the Ville Leino situation not being too far removed from Brunner's. However, Brunner has immense talent and could do very well with some of Buffalo's skilled young players.
As he is only 27, a mid-range deal would not hamper the Sabres' rebuilding efforts in the least, provided he is paid reasonably.
Brunner was thought to be returning to the Wings, but it seems they will be parting ways after only one season.
Likelihood of Signing: Moderate
4. Dustin Penner
The burly winger has a strange historical tie to the Sabres, being the second player offer sheeted by the Edmonton Oilers in 2007. The first player? Thomas Vanek, who is still playing out that very deal matched by the Sabres.
Penner has not had nearly as much success between Edmonton and Los Angeles as Vanek has had in Buffalo, but he would be an excellent addition to the third line. Penner could also look good on the wing with Grigorenko, providing a size element, as well as a big body in front of the net.
Penner may be more notable for his off-ice injuries than his on-ice play as of late, but the 30-year-old has some juice left in the tank.
Likelihood of Signing: Pretty Good
5. Jaromir Jagr
Really? Yes, really.
Jaromir Jagr, the ageless wonder, has earned himself at least another season in the NHL with his strong play during the season with Dallas and Boston.
Jagr would strictly be a one-year guy, as he has been the past two seasons. He would not take long-term minutes from anyone and who better to show the young guys the ropes than him?
He may be losing a step, but given the fact that he was five steps ahead of everyone in his prime means he still can compete in the NHL.
Putting him on the wing with Hodgson or Grigorenko would do wonders for them, never mind making the Sabres instantly harder to play against.
While Jagr signing in Buffalo is likely a long shot, the idea of it actually makes a lot of sense. Where he ends up will be better simply because they have him in the mix, and the NHL is all the better for it.
Likelihood of Signing: Low, but worth the thought