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With the NHL trade deadline looming, the Buffalo Sabres find themselves in a unique position. Should they trade pending UFAs for future assets or use the opportunity to bolster their roster for next season?

With a young core taking shape and a respectable 22-25-11 record, the Sabres are no longer the automatic sellers they’ve been in recent seasons. However, the presence of several pending unrestricted free agents (UFAs) presents Kevyn Adams with intriguing options.

Trading veterans for future assets: Erik Johnson, Kyle Okposo, and Zemgus Girgensons are all UFAs generating interest from playoff contenders. Dealing any of them would bring back draft picks and prospects, further fueling the Sabres’ rebuild. But Adams must carefully weigh the potential return against the short-term impact on the team’s competitiveness.

Buffalo Sabres GM Kevyn Adams Faces Key Decisions as Trade Deadline Approaches

Building for next season: Similar to last year’s acquisition of Jordan Greenway, Adams could use the deadline to add players who fit into the Sabres’ long-term plans. A top-four defenseman to complement Owen Power is a priority, especially if Johnson departs. Contract extension talks with Casey Mittelstadt are expected to begin soon, signaling the organization’s commitment to their young center.

Key players off the table: Despite trade rumors swirling, Dylan Cozens, Jack Quinn, JJ Peterka, Tage Thompson, and Alex Tuch are considered untouchable. These young forwards are seen as core pieces of the Sabres’ future, and Adams is unlikely to move them unless a truly game-changing offer emerges.

Ultimately, the Sabres’ trade deadline decisions will hinge on Adams’ vision for the team’s trajectory. Does he prioritize accelerating the rebuild through veteran trades, or use the opportunity to strategically address roster needs for next season and beyond?

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