1. John Tavares
The Sabres have good depth at center right now. Jack Eichel and Ryan O’ Reilly are now considered established veterans in the league. Newcomer Casey Mittelstadt played center during his first six games in Buffalo and played well. Adding John Tavares to play center would push someone to unfavorable ice time and matchups. The addition of Tavares would allow the Sabres to move one of their existing centers to a wing and fix one of their issues with the current roster. There is a clear lack of top wing players on the roster and it hurts their offensive production.
Tavares is the big catch this offseason, so general manager Jason Botterill will need to open the wallet and make his first big splash of being GM. Tavares would be a statement to the rest of the league that the Sabres are not waiting to rebuild. Landing Tavares would put the Sabres in a position where they would need to win now. Adding a big piece and not making the playoffs makes the team even more of a failure.
John Tavares interestingly enough has ties built into the city of Buffalo. His Uncle, also named John Tavares, played professional lacrosse for the Buffalo Bandits of the NLL. Tavares played in Buffalo for 23 seasons and scored 815 goals. Leading to his induction into the Hall of Fame in 2016. Sabres fans will be hoping that older John can put in a good word with younger Tavares and can convince him to join the Buffalo Sabres next season.