Sabres far apart with arbitration numbers for Ullmark and McCabe

Linus Ullmark has his arbitration hearing with the NHL on Friday, while Jake McCabe meets with league arbiters on Sunday

Brayton Wilson
August 02, 2019 - 11:58 am

Photo: Kevin Hoffman - USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres have two restricted free agents heading for arbitration this weekend with league arbiters in Toronto.

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark will speak with an independent arbiter on Friday with the hopes of getting a new contract reportedly worth $2.65 million. However, the Sabres are reportedly hoping to get Ullmark back in the fold for $800,000.

The 26-year-old netminder is coming off his first full season in the National Hockey League with the Sabres. Ullmark posted a 15-14-5 record in 37 games played last season with a 3.11 goals-against average, a .905 save percentage and two shutouts. After a pretty good start to the season splitting time with Carter Hutton in goal, Ullmark's play started to tail off later in the year and, at times, could not help bail the Sabres out.

It is expected that Ullmark will have a similar role with the Sabres next season as Hutton's backup, but getting the chance to play somewhere between 30-40 games.

Ullmark has played the past two seasons on a contract that paid him an average annual value of $750,000.

Since coming over to North America before the 2015-16 season, Ullmark has appeared in 63 games with Buffalo, posting a career 24-27-7 record with a 2.87 goals-against average, a .910 save percentage and two shutouts.

Ullmark grew up rapidly in his first three seasons in North America with the Rochester Americans in the American Hockey League, appearing in 127 games and registering a 2.91 goals-against average, a .911 save percentage and three shutouts.

The native of Lugnvik, Sweden was Buffalo's sixth round pick (163rd overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft.

As for defenseman Jake McCabe, he will meet with league arbiters on Sunday, but the reported difference between the veteran defenseman and the Sabres is even greater than that of Ullmark.

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported on Friday that McCabe's asking price for arbitration is a contract worth $4.3 million, while the Sabres are hoping to get the defenseman on a contract worth $1.95 million.

McCabe is coming off his fourth full season with the Sabres, where he scored four goals and picked up 10 assists for 14 points in 59 games. McCabe missed some time throughout the season with an upper-body injury that put him in the press box in both December and in March.

In parts of six season with the Sabres, McCabe has appeared in 274 games while scoring 14 goals and registering 61 points. His best season came during the 2016-17 season where he put up a career-high total for assists (17) and points (20).

The 25-year-old has been a solid two-way defenseman during his tenure in Buffalo, but he has not played more than 60 games in each of the past two seasons due to a number of injuries.

McCabe has played the past three seasons on a contract that paid him an average annual value of $1.6 million.

The Eau Claire, Wisconsin native was Buffalo's second round pick (44th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft.

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