Three Sabres file for salary arbitration

San Reinhart, Victor Olofsson and Linus Ullmark will all have arbitration hearings some time between Oct. 20 and Nov. 8.

October 11, 2020 - 10:00 am
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The National Hockey League Players' Association announced on Saturday that 26 players have elected salary arbitration ahead of the 2020-21 season. A total of three Buffalo Sabres players are among that group: Forwards Sam Reinhart and Victor Olofsson, and goalie Linus Ullmark.

Just because a player has filed for salary arbitration does not mean that they will officially meet with a league arbiter when scheduled. The team and the players can negotiate a contract and sign a new deal at any point beforehand.

Reinhart has elected for salary arbitration after putting up a total of 115 points (44+71) in 151 games over the last two seasons. This past season, Reinhart matched his goal total from the year before (22), and was on pace to finish the year with 59 points (26+33) before the regular season was shut down due to COVID-19. The 24-year-old has also not missed a game over the last three seasons.

Reinhart's last contract signed back in 2018 saw him making $3.65 million per-year on a two-year contract. His qualifying offer from the Sabres this offseason would pay him $3.75 million if he were to accept the offer.

It was a strong rookie season for Olofsson, who managed to score 20 goals and register 22 assists for 42 points in 54 games. The 25-year-old was on a good pace to finish the season with 25 goals and 27 assists for 52 points in 67 games before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the season. That total would have been higher this season if an ankle injury had not forced him to miss 15 games.

Olofsson's qualifying offer from the Sabres would pay him $735,000 if he was to accept that offer, but it is likely that the scoring winger will look to make more than that with a new contract.

As for Ullmark, this is the second consecutive year that he has filed for salary arbitration as a restricted free agent. The 27-year-old made it to arbitration last offseason, but ended up coming to terms on a one-year contract with the Sabres before the arbiter handed out his official award for Ullmark.

The Swedish netminder firmly cemented himself as the No. 1 goalie in Buffalo as the 2019-20 season rolled along, putting up a 17-14-3 record with a 2.69 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage. He will likely head into the 2020-21 season as the No. 1 goaltender for the Sabres with the backup still to be determined between Carter Hutton and another option outside of the organization.

If Ullmark was to take his qualifying offer this offseason, it will pay him the same amount of money that he was paid this past season at $1.325 million.

The Sabres did extend qualifying offers to two other players this offseason in defensemen Brandon Montour and Lawrence Pilut. Montour was able to come to terms on a one-year deal with the Sabres on Saturday night worth $3.85 million.

As for Pilut, he's currently playing in the Kontinental Hockey League on a two-year contract with Traktor Chelyabinsk. The qualifying offer extended to him will allow the Sabres to retain his rights for another three seasons.

Buffalo did not extend a qualifying offer to forward Dominik Kahun by Wednesday's deadline for the Sabres, making him an unrestricted free agent. The team has said that there remains interest in bringing him back into the fold, but he still remains a free agent as of Sunday.

The NHL is expected to hold these arbitrations some time between Oct. 20 and Nov. 8., but no official schedule of hearings has been announced.

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