Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Sabres & Ristolainen in Agreement

The Buffalo Sabres will indeed have defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen in their lineup to start the season, as the two sides agreed on a new 6-year contract, reportedly carrying a salary cap hit of $5.4 million per season. That would work out to be a $32.4 million deal, all told.

The Sabres have a definite blue chip defenseman on their hands, as he has already started to put up some quality scoring numbers as a 21-year old blueliner in the NHL.  Last season, he was ranked the 24th best defenseman in scoring and the sky is the limit on this upside.

With Ristolainen now finally under contract, they can now have him in their lineup when they open the season against Montreal on Thursday night.  He was at camp for a good portion and he has already had the benefit of playing at the World Cup for Finland, so he shouldn't be in need of any rust shaking to start the year, rather, he'll be ready to go.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Ryan O'Reilly 7.500 Rasmus Ristolainen 5.400 Robin Lehner 2.225
Kyle Okposo 6.000 Zach Bogosian 5.143 Anders Nilsson 1.000
Evander Kane 5.250 Dmitry Kulikov 4.333
Matt Moulson 5.000 Josh Gorges 3.900
Tyler Ennis 4.600 Cody Franson 3.325
Brian Gionta 4.250 Jake McCabe 1.600
Marcus Foligno 2.250 Casey Nelson 0.650
Zemgus Girgensons 1.150
Johan Larsson 0.950
Jack Eichel 0.925
Hudson Fasching 0.925
Sam Reinhart 0.894
Nicolas Deslauriers 0.775
Derek Grant PTO

Salary CapThis appears to be the 23-man roster that the Buffalo Sabres are going to be going with, yet I have yet to see a contract for Derek Grant.  Even with Ristolainen's new deal, the Sabres are well under budget, still $4.4 million under the ceiling and they could throw a nice healthy number at Grant and still have plenty of flexibility underneath the salary cap.

ImplicationsBenson was slowly working his way into accepting the fact that Ristolainen may not have been in the Sabres lineup to start the season and that the rest of the team would have to pick up the slack for the lack of the young Finn.  Those concerns have slipped away quite quickly, with the announcement and his team is pretty much ready and raring to go now.
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