On Monday Jack Eichel joined his teammates in Buffalo after returning from the World Cup of Hockey -- Rasmus Ristolainen however did not, according to multiple reports.
The 21-year-old defenseman is a restricted free agent going into the 2016 season and is looking for a new deal. In 2015, Ristolainen had his best professional season with the Sabres -- at least offensively. He finished with nine goals, 32 assists, and 41 points.
Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told WGR 550's Paul Hamilton, among other reporters Monday morning "I would love to have him with us right now, but I’m confident that will move to be getting done and he’ll be joining us at some point in time.”
The Sabres open up their preseason schedule Monday night against Minnesota.
Ristolainen wants a long term big-money contract and the Sabres are likely going to give it to him, it's just a matter of how much they're willing to spend. Ristolainen likely wants somewhere between $6 and $7 million per year, and the Sabres will want to stay closer to $5 million. I was told this summer the Sabres turned down offers for Ristolainen -- so they certainly see him as an important piece long term. I think this will get done sooner rather than later.
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