The Buffalo Sabres have dominated the headlines this morning with the news that they’ll place Matt Moulson on waivers at noon, and Darren Dreger of TSN has some more information regarding the team. Dreger reports on Twitter that teams have called the Sabres about both Chad Johnson and Robin Lehner, trying to gauge the availability of the two goaltenders. With the Sabres falling even further out of the playoff race with four straight losses, it surely won’t be the only calls they’ll receive on players this year.
Both Lehner and Johnson are free agents this summer, with the former being of the restricted variety. While he’s previously shown an ability to put up excellent numbers at the NHL level, Lehner has been just as much of a disappointment as anyone else on the team. With what would be a career-low .903 save percentage, Lehner would be a tough evaluation for new Sabres GM Jason Botterill and head coach Phil Housley. If the team doesn’t believe he can be their starter going forward, perhaps moving him this season would be the right move. As a 26-year old, he’ll need a long-term contract this summer or be heading for unrestricted free agency next offseason.
None of this is to say that the Sabres would actually move a goaltender, but Johnson certainly has to be getting close to expendable. Brought in on a one-year deal to stabilize the backup position, he’s posted a very poor .883 save percentage and won just a single start. With Linus Ullmark waiting in the wings for another chance at the NHL, Johnson’s place doesn’t seem so secure.