Murray facing key decisions this offseason

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Since the Sabres’ plans for the second overall pick aren’t exactly a mystery, today’s pre-draft news conference largely went in a different direction.

Beyond the draft, Sabres GM Tim Murray is facing several key decisions this offseason. Among them are what to do with Cody Hodgson, Mikhail Grigorenko, and Patrick Kaleta. All three of those situations are quite different.

In Hodgson’s case, the window is now open for teams to buy out contracts. Murray said Thursday, he has discussed the idea with Hodgson and his agent, but he has not made a decision yet. Hodgson is working to improve this offseason, with Murray closely following those developments. He has until the end of the month to decide.

Grigorenko will be a restricted free agent this summer, but reportedly has been fielding offers from the KHL in Russia – rumors that Murray says he’s heard as well. At the moment, Murray is offering a two-way contract, which would give the Sabres the ability to send him down to Rochester for more seasoning, but Grigorenko’s agent has balked at the idea so far.

“They’ve spoken to us about a contract,” said Murray. “Their expectations of a contract are a little different than ours, so we haven’t come to an agreement.”

Unlike the other two players, the home-grown Kaleta will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. So far, Murray has not had any talks with Kaleta’s agent about a new contract.

Murray also talked about the team’s need at goalie, with the possibility of filling that hole either through a trade or free agency.

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