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Hamilton: Sabres GM Adams focuses on Ristolainen trade, expansion draft

Hamilton: 'I think Adams' asking price is way too high, but he’s the one taking the phone calls from other general managers.'

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams must think he can get a young defenseman and a high draft pick for Rasmus Ristolainen.

He protected Ristolainen in the expansion draft, leaving Will Borgen exposed.

Ristolainen has one more year left on his contract, then will likely leave as an unrestricted free agent. I think Adams' asking price is way too high, but he’s the one taking the phone calls from other general managers, not me.

Borgen can be saved if Adams is willing to send something in return to the Seattle Kraken to get them not to take him.

It was just over a week ago that Adams hired analytics guru Sam Ventura away from the Pittsburgh Penguins. I don’t think Adams hired him not to listen to him, and Ventura would have dozens of reasons keeping Ristolainen is a bad idea.

He would also be able to tell Adams not to expect too much in a trade, but who knows. Maybe Adams gets more than we think he can.

Ristolainen did start the season off very well until his defensive partner Jake McCabe got hurt. Overall it still was his best season as a pro which isn’t saying a whole lot.

Credit: AP
Buffalo Sabres' Rasmus Ristolainen plays against the Boston Bruins during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, May 1, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis must take at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen, and three goalies from every team except the Vegas Golden Knights.

Francis could take Borgen, Colin Miller, Zemgus Girgensons, or a surprise.

We will find out on Wednesday who the Kraken take. The roster freeze for trades ends at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Teams can trade with Seattle right now. Round 1 of the Entry Draft is Friday night at 8.

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