The Buffalo Sabres made decisions on five restricted free agents by Friday’s 5 pm deadline prior to the start of free agency on July 1, submitting qualifying offers on minor leaguers Brett Murray and Linus Weissbach, but not doing so for Tyson Jost, Kale Clague, and Matej Pekar, making them unrestricted free agents.
The Buffalo Sabres have extended qualifying offers to forwards Brett Murray and Linus Weissbach.
— Sabres PR (@SabresPR) June 30, 2023
Jost, 25, was a 10th overall selection by Colorado in 2016 and had 22 points (7 goals, 15 assists) in 59 games after being claimed off of waivers from Minnesota in November. Clague split time between AHL Rochester and played 33 games for the Sabres last season. Pekar was a fourth-round pick of the Sabres in 2018, but after two promising seasons in the OHL with Barrie and Sudbury, he could not repeat that success as a professional.
Tyson Jost, everyone 👏 pic.twitter.com/MkEYTgBYYk
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) March 4, 2023
Jost’s qualifying offer would have been in excess of $2 million, which is likely why the Sabres chose not to make him an offer. That does not mean that they will not try to bring him back at a lower salary, with the free agents scrambling to find jobs starting Saturday.
Friday was also the deadline for teams to buyout contracts and a couple of prominent names hit the waiver wire on Friday. The Winnipeg Jets bought out the final year of former team captain Blake Wheeler’s contract, ending a 13-year stint with the franchise going back to their days as the Atlanta Thrashers. Nashville moved out center Ryan Johansen last week in a trade with Colorado, but after failing to do so bought out the final three years of center Matt Duchene’s deal. Boston bought out the final year of defenseman Mike Reilly’s contract, and after acquiring him in a trade with the New York Islanders, the Chicago Blackhawks bought out the last year of forward Josh Bailey’s deal.