Attracting Free Agents: Is Buffalo a destination?


Every fan hopes their team lands an eye-popping free agent that will bring their city a Stanley Cup.

How can a team attract those types of players? Better yet, what makes a team an attractive destination?

Here are a couple of things players may take into consideration.

Location: Is it a hockey city? How much media attention does the team get? Will players be noticed on the street?

In Buffalo, you better believe that the fans know their team.

No, it’s not Detroit, Montreal, New York City, or Toronto, but plenty of people in the area will recognize you. New York State is slowly becoming a hotbed for hockey talent, so Buffalo might be on a few free agent radars.

History: Has the team made the playoffs recently and how far did they go? Can a free agent be a piece of the puzzle that helps them over that hurdle?

Buffalo has seen their core change many times since the lockout. With Chris Drury and Daniel Briere long gone and Derek Roy, Paul Gaustad, and Tim Connolly either traded or let go, it’s time for the Sabres to find a new identity. An identity that can come in the way of being a new home for a high scoring forward to add to their arsenal.

Current Players: Through all the free agency hype since 12 p.m. July 1, many of the reports coming from insiders say that players on the team are reaching out to new teammates or potential teammates that their team has made an offer.

Such as Crosby reaching out to Zach Parise or Taylor Hall to Justin Schultz, Ryan Miller and other top players on the Sabers’ roster could play an important role in helping players come to Buffalo.

The Present & Future: This may be one of the more tricky situations when trying to land a free agent.

Contract negotiations are more than just the amount of money the organization is willing to pay to Player X; it’s also the number of years being offered.

Together, these two numbers give the player in question an idea of what the team is looking for and what type of role they’ll take on with the organization. As stated previously, with the old guard out and the need for a potent forward in Buffalo , there is a place for a free agent signing.

This are only a few of the major points of attracting a free agent to your club and there may be things that the average fan or even insiders don’t know about.

The delicate task of signing players is enough to make a general manager’s head spin in hopes of creating a competitive on-ice product.

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