The Buffalo Sabres were able to avoid arbitration with Victor Olofsson finding a reasonable deal that makes sense for both sides.
One of the few bright spots for the Buffalo Sabres last season was the play of rookie Victor Olofsson and they will look for him to take the next step going into 2020-21.
Getting the 25-year-old signed to a two-year, $6.1 million deal is a reasonable deal considering he had 20 goals in 54 games and he probably would have had more if he didn’t get injured. For Buffalo, to see a seventh-round pick get to this point in his development should be seen as a big win.
More from Tip of the Tower
- Toronto Blue Jays: Reunion with J.A. Happ could be beneficial
- Blue Jays rumours: Is trading for Nolan Arenado possible?
- Raptors: Losing Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka hurts, but not end of world
- Toronto Argonauts: Key dates from the 2021 schedule
- Raptors: Fred VanVleet’s contract provides flexibility going forward
Between that deal, getting Sam Reinhart signed and the shocking move to bring in Taylor Hall, it’s hard to not see Buffalo taking a step forward. Considering some of the question marks around the move to bring in Kevyn Adams after firing Jason Botterill, there should certainly be fewer concerns now.
Olofsson could be a sleeper player going into next season when you look at the additions the team made in the off-season. He should benefit from having some proven players to play with either on the top line with Jack Eichel and Hall or with newly acquired Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner.
It’s also a calculated low-risk move for Buffalo that shouldn’t have any major issues with the cap and bridge the gap to make other additions because of the contract they gave Olofsson. Other teams have pushed to give players a long-term deal while keeping the cap hit reasonable.
If Olofsson continues to reach his potential, the Sabres shouldn’t have a problem giving him a raise down the road and will have some measure of control since he will still be a restricted free agent.
Also going into arbitration isn’t an ideal situation for NHL teams and something most teams try to avoid because of the impact it can have on relationships with their players. With Oloffson, there wasn’t a large sample size at the NHL level to warrant enough of a debate about his value.
What are your thoughts about the Oloffson deal? Did the Sabres get fair value? Where should he potentially slot into the lineup next season? Let us know in the comments below.