There's a reason the Buffalo Sabres protected Johan Larsson, Robin Lehner and Nathan Beaulieu in last month's NHL expansion draft and signed them to offer sheets last week. All three players are important assets for the Sabres moving forwards, but also feel they deserve a new contract.
Craig Oster, who represents both Larsson & Lehner tells me he's optimistic that they'll "find a solution that will be mutually acceptable."
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) July 5, 2017
According to their agent, Craig Oster, both Larsson and Lehner have filed for salary arbitration. In a list of players twetted by the NHL Players Association Nathan Beaulieu was also listed as a player who filed for arbitration.
"We've had a number of negotiating sessions today and we're going to continue to try and do so for sure," Oster said over the phone on Wednesday. " I'm always optimistic that we'll be able to find a solution that'll be mutually acceptable to both sides."
After the Sabres acquired Jason Pominville and Marco Scandella, GM Jason Botterill was specifically asked about the Sabres negotiations with Lehner. Botterill said he was confident the two sides would get a deal done in the next month.
" I just know that until recently Jason and the Sabres have had a lot on their plate," Oster added. "And there's been lots for Jason to deal with since he arrived. We've had productive discussions and I'm certainly hopeful to find a solution on both players situations."
Lehner, 25, finished last season with a 23-26-8 record while posting a .920 save percentage and 2.68 goals against average. Larsson, 25, scored six goals and added five assists in 36 games, before suffering a wrist injury that would sideline him for the remainder of the season. Beaulieu, who was acquired by the Sabres in June, tallied 28 points in 74 games with the Montreal Canadiens last season.
"I think every negotiation is different and unique with the circumstances that surround it," Oster said. "They're both different for sure and yet they both have to follow the same process and same rules. They both have the same rights as restricted free agents with salary arbitration rights"
Lehner, Larsson and Beaulieu can negotiate new deals until their arbitration hearings have begun. Most arbitration hearings are heard in starting in late July or early August. To learn more about the arbitration process click here.