It was thought that the Buffalo Sabres would not have a difficult time trading winger Victor Olofsson, but after the NHL Draft and the opening of free agency, GM Kevyn Adams may have to wait until a few more dominoes fall before moving the 28-goal scorer.
— NHL (@NHL) March 11, 2022
Trade chatter began regarding Olofsson after the season when Lance Lysowski of the Buffalo News reported that the winger and his representatives expected him to be traded by the Sabres at some point this summer. The 27-year-old will make $4.75 million before becoming an unrestricted free agent after next season. With Buffalo deep at forward and unlikely to re-sign him after next year, Adams could be exploring options to move Olofsson for a defenseman or goalie with a similar short-term remaining.
There was no hint of a potential Olofsson deal in Nashville and through the first week of free agency, but that might change over the next couple of weeks. Ottawa’s Alex DeBrincat has been rumored to be going to the New York Islanders or Detroit Red Wings before his arbitration hearing later this month since he will not sign a long-term extension to stay with the Senators. Free agent Vladimir Tarasenko’s destination appears linked to whatever happens to DeBrincat, as a Plan B option.
Holding Onto Olofsson Into Next Season
Olofsson may then be considered a Plan C for teams looking for a proven goal scorer on a short-term deal, but clearly, there is a standstill in the league regarding a number of players with a year left on their contracts (Mark Scheifele, Connor Hellebuyck in Winnipeg, Brett Pesce in Carolina, Noah Hanifin, Elias Lindholm, Chris Tanev, and Mikael Backlund in Calgary).
The decision to move Olofsson internally may have changed with the injury to Jack Quinn last month. Most of the projections have the Sabres looking toward young forwards J-J Peterka or Jiri Kulich to step into that vacancy, but it is possible that Adams could hold onto Olofsson into the season until Quinn returns and then deal him before the NHL Trade Deadline.