Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray has confirmed earlier reports that the team has signed Rasmus Ristolainen to a new contract, as John Vogl of The Buffalo News tweets. Terms of the new arrangement are unknown at this point.
Ristolainen developed into the team’s top blue liner in 2015-16, scoring nine goals with 32 helpers. The three-year veteran has tallied 19 goals and 65 points in 194 games during his career.
Bob McKenzie adds that the deal is for six years and worth an average of $5.4MM annually. He notes the contract is identical to the one recently agreed to between fellow right-handed defenseman Seth Jones and Columbus.
The signing leaves the Sabres with just a shade less than $2MM of cap space with 23 players under contract – 14 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies – as Cap Friendly notes.
With Ristolainen under contract, only three prominent RFAs remain unsigned: Hampus Lindholm, Rickard Rakell and Jacob Trouba. Mckenzie speculates that the Ristolainen contract represents the absolute floor for Lindholm. It will be interesting to see whether this agreement helps push the negotiations between Lindholm and the Ducks any closer to a resolution.