Ristolainen signs for 6 years, cements the Buffalo Sabres core long term. Lehner has dress rehearsal.
The future of the Buffalo Sabres organization just got quite a bit brighter today. Signing restricted free agent at a bargain price of $5.4 million per year for a 6 year term. Some may think that price is a little steep, given the fact that he isn't even 22 years old and barely has 3 NHL seasons under his belt, those people may be right.
Given the progress of the young Finn blueliner over the last 2 seasons, combined with his work ethic and character (how many players in ANY professional sport show up to training camp, requesting to work out, without a contract?), Risto has the tools both mentally, and physically, to take his game to a level that will make $5.4 million seem like one hell of a bargain within the next 3 years.
This locks up the Buffalo Sabres core for the next 6 years, considering that Kyle Okposo & Ryan O'Reilly are under contract for the next 7 seasons, and Sam Reinhart along with Jack Eichel will be signing long term deals within the next couple of years. Regardless of the moving parts, Risto is a Buffalo Sabre for the next 6 years (at least), and we are lucky to have him.