Sabres Goaltending Situation Perfect Target For Lightning

The Buffalo Sabres are going to start the season with three goalies on the roster, but most know that Devon Levi is going to be the starter for them this season and for a long time. Splitting time with him will be Eric Comrie and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. The latter is four years younger than Comrie and played 14 more games last season, but Luukkonen hasn't necessarily turned into the goalie the Sabres were expecting yet.

For many teams, they would be able to wait it out and keep Luukkonen as a backup until he either breaks out or fails. The Sabres don't need to do that though as their future starter can start right now and is only 21 years old. This not only provides the team with a nice young goaltending trade chip, but at a cheap cap hit. A team that could very much use that is the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Lightning are desperate for a goalie that has started more than 28 career NHL games. Luukkonen alone has started 45, could be a good backup to provide Andrei Vasilevskiy some relief for a number of years rather than going with veterans at the end of their careers, and Luukkonen only has a $837,500 AAV cap hit this season. He will be a RFA at the end of the season.

While Luukkonen might get the Sabres more in return, he might not be the option that the Lightning could look to trade for. There is also Comrie, who has the same level of NHL experience, but is older and has more professional experience. He also had a tough season in net for the Sabres in 2022-23 and has a cap hit of $1.8 million AAV, so the Sabres would have to retain half of that. Not many teams are currently holding three goalies and most of the rest have passed through waivers already. The team will have to do something soon or potentially struggle greatly to start the season.

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