With the Toronto Maple Leafs reportedly out of the mix for Colorado Avalanche defenceman John-Michael Liles, the Buffalo Sabres could be the front-runner for his services.
Liles has one more year remaining on his contract at a cap hit of $4.2 million (all figures via CapGeek). Liles has been enjoying a renaissance of sorts in Colorado this season with 41-points in 63 games, his best total since 2006-07. Buffalo would be a logical destination for Liles as they’re just two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the East, seeking an offensive defenceman, and appear to be buyers after acquiring Brad Boyes late Sunday.
The Sabres have just under $4 million in cap space, although Tim Connolly and his $4.5 million cap hit have been rumoured to be a major trade possibility today. Buffalo general manager Darcy Regier has an abundance of youth at his disposal as potential trade chips, too, that could be used to acquire the 30-year old Liles.