With the 2022-2023 NHL season still a month away, most teams have closed the majority of their roster. Sure, there will be some pieces in play with potential AHLers making opening night pieces, and players either going back to rookies or not, but overall, most teams have their core together.
However, it is now September 7th and there are still some unrestricted free agents on the market that could be attractive – not necessarily for Buffalo Saber, but for other teams, including those in the department. Here’s a look at five interesting UFAs who have gone unsigned for the upcoming season.
in PK Sub
Defense – 33 years old – 6’0 – 210 pounds
Career stats (regular season): 834 GP – 115 G – 352 A – 467 points
Draft: forty-third overall / 2007 (Montreal Canadiens)
Frankly, how did Sabban not sign yet? This is the brutal thing for me. He is a famous player and a strong defensive man with over 900 NHL games (regular season + playoffs) under his belt. After seven years with the Canadians, he spent three years with the Predators, then joined the Devils for the past three seasons. Soban’s non-ice personality, including his fun personality and commitment to philanthropy, is also noteworthy. And of course, don’t forget his brother Malcolm, who signed with the Cypress organization.
His previous contract was huge, at $9 million (and the same cap), he was originally signed in 2014. Most of that money in recent years has been buried in signing bonuses.
Would PK Subban be a good fit for Sabers?
Forward (RW/C) – 29 years old – 5’11 – £184
Career stats (regular season): 316 GP – 53 G – 76 A – 129 points
Draft: N / A
Rodriguez really thrived last season with the Penguins. He appeared in all 82 matches and scored 19 goals and 24 assists for 43 points, which is a new career record. In the playoffs, he appeared in seven matches and has five points. Of course, any Sabers fan reading this is likely to be familiar with E-Rod’s history with the Sabers. He signed with the organization and joined Buffalo/Rochester in 2015-16, then spent a few years moving between the AHL and the NHL. In his only full season at Buffalo, he had 29 points (9-20) in 74 games.
His last contract was a one-year deal worth $1 million. According to Jeff Marek, Rodriguez’s situation may be settled this week.
Would Evan Rodriguez be a good fit for the Cypresses?
Zack Aston Race
Forward (LW/RW) – 28 years – 6’0 – 204 pounds
Career stats (regular season): 230 GP – 32 G – 34 A – 66 points
Draft: N / A
ZAR has five NHL seasons under his belt, most of which he spent with Pittsburgh penguins. After being traded in February as part of a package for Ricard Raquel, he joined Anaheim Dax 17 games but now UFA. Last season, he played 69 joint matches between the two teams and had 15 points (5-10). for every PenguinPoop.com (Yes, that’s a real link), ZAR far exceeded its expected targets – in percentage terms and shone defensively last season. The potential is certainly there for him, it seems, if given the right opportunity.
His last contract was a one-year deal worth $1.725 million, signed with Penguins in 2021.
Would Zach Aston-Reese be a good fit for the Sabers?
Forward (LW/RW) – 27 years old – 5’10 – 192 pounds
Career stats (regular season): 269 GP – 35 G – 27 A – 62 points
Draft: Ranked 121st overall / 2013 (Chicago Blackhawks)
Mott has bounced back quite a bit in his six NHL seasons so far. Drafted by Chicago, he spent only one season in the organization before splitting the following year between Columbus and Vancouver. After five years with the Canucks, he was traded to the Rangers in March 2022 for the fourth-round draft pick. (Fun fact: The deal that brought him from Columbus to Vancouver? The comeback was…Thomas Vanek!) He’s a fast striker, gets involved in the screening process, and can play physically too. His off-ice personality, including mental health initiatives and support for women’s hockey, is also noteworthy.
His last contract was a two-year deal with Vancouver with AAV worth $1,225 million, including $1,450 million in base salary in the final year.
Would Tyler Motte be a good fit for the Buffalo Sabers?
Calvin de Han
Defense – 31 years old – 6’1 – 195 pounds
Career stats (regular season): 520 GP – 19 G – 100 A – 119 points
The draft: the twelfth issue in general / 2009 (New York Islanders)
De Haan spent the first few seasons of his National Hockey League career with the Islanders, then played one season in the Carolinas before joining the Blackhawks. Last season in Chicago, he appeared in 69 games and had eight points. (His best season came in 2016-2017, when he played 82 games for the Islands and had 25 points.) De Hahn’s CF% and FF% have been steady between 43-45% over the past few years in Chicago.
His last contract was a four-year deal with Carolina worth $4,550 million, signed in 2018.