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Sabres 30 Watch - Part 3: Right-Wingers

I've taken the liberty of reviewing 30 players -- free agents and others possibly available to acquire via trade -- for Sabres fans to watch this offseason.

Some of them are on the list because I think they'd be a good fit in Buffalo, and others made it simply due to insider reports and the latest buzz from the hockey world.

In Parts 1 and 2, we went over defensemen and left-wingers.

Today, let's take a look at right-wingers.

(name, age, status or cap hit/term)

Vladimir Tarasenko, 23, RFA

A 37-goal scorer on the verge of stardom at age 23 isn't someone whom the Blues have any intention of letting go. They've made it clear he is their top priority, and they'll match any offer sheet -- even if they have to trade players like David Backes and T.J. Oshie to do it.

Phil Kessel, 27, $8M per season through 2021-22

The five time 30-plus-goal scorer is apparently available for the right price. There is an argument to be had that Buffalo would benefit from making a deal for such a talent, but I say it's a bad idea. Too many assets required to give up, and too much term commitment for a player who will be past age 30 by the time Jack Eichel is reaching his peak.

T.J. Oshie, 28, $4.175 per season through 2016-17

Skilled player who has played first-line minutes. Oshie strikes me as someone who just needs a change of scenery. The problem from Buffalo's standpoint is you only get him for two years and then hope you can re-sign him. At that reasonable cap hit, it could be worth the risk if the Sabres don't have to dig too deep into the picks & prospects pool to do it.

Kyle Okposo, 27, $2.8M through 2015-16

If the reports are true that the Islanders are interested in using Okposo as a trade chip, color me surprised. But they don't have to make such a move and likely won't unless they get a great return. I'd rather see the Sabres pursue a player with more than a year left on his contract or try landing someone through free agency than giving up assets for a guy who may only be around for one season.

Justin Williams, 33, UFA

Sure, he steps up big for contending teams going for the Cup. How will that be of any help to the Sabres anytime soon? Likely a moot point since joining a rebuild isn't something that would make sense at this point of his career.

Dustin Brown, 30, $5.875M per season through 2021-22

Once an integral cog for the Kings, he appears to be well into the downside of his career. Hasn't hit the 20-goal mark in three years. This season, he scored five more goals than Cody Hodgson. He's a big name character guy who is available but his contract is on the books for seven more years. Really bad idea.

Michael Frolik, 27, UFA *** EDITORS CHOICE ***

A quality player who seems to be flying under the radar, Frolik was the 10th overall selection of the Panthers in 2006, and is a UFA at the still young age of 27. Ranked 17th in the NHL this past season in 5-on-5 Corsi For % (55.1) among forwards who played at least 1000 minutes. Hit the 20-goal mark twice in his career and I believe he can do it again.

Honorable mention to Oshie, but I most love the idea of the Sabres pursuing Frolik. Having a quality right winger on the second line behind Evander Kane would allow for some flexibility with the rest of the roster, and you can get him for less of a cap hit than the big name guys.


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  Tags: sabres+trade+rumors


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About The Sabres Observer

Dave Davis has covered the Buffalo Sabres for various NHL accredited websites and newspapers since 2003.  He was the senior writer and Sabres correspondent for The Fourth Period, covered hockey for Western New York Sports and Leisure Magazine, and has had articles featured on NHL.com, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and in New York Sportscene.  Sabres news and notes can be found on his Twitter page.

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Email: dd@kuklaskorner.com Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]