Buffalo Sabres: What the Sam Reinhart deal means for the team

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 29: Sam Reinhart
NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 29: Sam Reinhart /

With Sam Reinhart agreeing a new two-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres, which side got the better of the deal both in the short and the long-term?

Buffalo Sabres fans let out a collective sigh of relief on Wednesday, as the team continued their preparations for the new season. As reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzieSam Reinhart has signed a new two-year deal.

Worth $7.3 million, it is effectively a bridge deal, rather than the long-term security Reinhart was ideally looking for. While there was no indication of any animosity between the two sides during negotiations — he was in Buffalo skating with his teammates prior to the new deal being agreed — it potentially sets up an intriguing scenario a couple of years from now.

In the short-term, this deal favors the Sabres tremendously. However, if the 22-year-old continues to improve each season as he has so far during his career, it could turn out to be extremely expensive for the franchise in the long run, if they wish to keep hold of the player.

On some level, you have to wonder if there is some frustration for Reinhart. The team essentially continues to ask him to show what he can do; he did this yet again in 2017-18 with his best points production yet, but the Swords seemingly remain hesitant to commit to him long-term.

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Critics will arguably point to a lack of consistency from the 2014 second overall draft pick. For example, he was poor during the first half of last season, before stepping up and showing what he is capable of.

In this respect, there should be no doubting Reinhart’s upside. He has the talent and versatility, is an excellent two-way contributor and durable.

It will be interesting to see where the Sabres play the North Vancouver, British Columbia native in 2018-19. Will he remain on the first line next to Jack Eichel, or will he be moved to the second line, where he could potentially stay on the wing or move back to center.

Wherever Reinhart does line up, all signs point towards him continuing his progression as a player, especially when you consider the talent being assembled around him. While an average deal of $3.65 million per year shouldn’t be taken lightly, you get the feeling he will receive a significant bump when it comes time to negotiate his next contract.

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What’s your take on Reinhart’s new contract? Did the Buffalo Sabres get the better end of the deal, or the player, or was it about 50/50? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.