The Buffalo Sabres have begun their off-season. It’s the 11th straight year the team has missed the postseason, but unlike last years, Sabres fans feel good about the direction of the team.

The Sabres showed a lot of promise in the last three months of the season. There’s no doubt they’re a youthful team but the likes of Tage Thompson, Rasmus Dahlin, Peyton Krebs, Mattias Samuelsson and Alex Tuch played extremely well down the stretch.

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Some fans are wondering if they will make a playoff contender next season, but it may be more realistic to think that 2023-2024 is when the Sabres will take that big step. The goaltending is the big question, as Buffalo waits for prospects Devon Levi and Erik Portillo to get to Rochester.

The Sabres roster will look different next season. General manager Kevyn Adams will be forced to spend money this off-season, not because they feel they have to revamp the roster, but because they have to get to the salary cap floor.

Spotrac has the Sabres current contracts at $40 million going into next season. That does not count players who are pending unrestricted free agents or Rochester players who are not on the Sabres salary cap books.

The salary cap floor is just over $60 million, with the salary cap ceiling slated for $81.5 million.

My guess is the Sabres will sign at least three or four free agents, one of those being a goaltender. Adams can also make a trade if the free agent market isn’t what he prefers to grab a certain kind of player.

JJ Peterka and Jack Quinn could be full-time Sabres next season, but Buffalo might prefer they get top line minutes in Rochester than third line minutes with the Sabres.

Either way, Adams will likely have to spend roughly $20 million this off-season, assuming he only wants to be around the cap floor. It might be even more money if they decide to go past that cap floor.

Who will the Sabres bring in to the fold?

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