NHL Rumors: Rasmus Dahlin contract update; NHLPA advises players they could lose money if not vaccinated

NHL Rumors Rasmus Dahlin
Apr 23, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (26) takes a shot on goal during the second period against the Boston Bruins at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

While the Buffalo Sabres deal (or not) with Jack Eichel, they have a key RFA that needs to be signed.

Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin has no arbitration rights, which means the Sabres hold all the cards. However; with the difficulty they’ve had retaining star players, it might make sense to work out a long-term deal with the former first overall pick in the 2018 Draft.

NHL Rumors: Sabres Dahlin contract update

Dahlin, 21, scored 5 goals and 18 assists for 23 points in 56 games this past season. The young defenseman has struggled at times but has produced despite the dysfunction in Buffalo. For his career, he’s registered a total of 107 points in 197 games.

It was reported prior to the 2021 Draft that the two sides had begun contract talks. Dahlin is coming off his Entry Level deal which paid $925,000 so he should be seeing a substantial increase. Just don’t expect him to get anything in the Cale Makar range.

rasmus dahlin contract
Apr 23, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Sam Reinhart (23) celebrates his goal with defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (26) during the first period against the Boston Bruins at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Sportnet’s Luke Fox believes the most beneficial outcome would be a bridge deal, but I would behoove Kevyn Adams to go beyond a two or three year term.

The potential for Dahlin to skyrocket offensively under Don Granato is legitimate. When the coaching change was made, Rasmus scored 12 of his 23 points under the Sabres new bench boss. Just as important, he was only a -9 from that point. A far cry from the -25 before the switch.

Ultimately, Dahlin may get a bridge deal but I would not rule out something longer in the next week or so.

NHLPA warns players they could lose pay if not vaccinated

The NHLPA had a call with its member to inform them they could lose pay if they contract COVID-19 and are not vaccinated. Loss of pay could also stem if an unvaccinated player is unable to join the team on trips where vaccination would be required to entire that jurisdiction.

Per a report in The Athletic, they do not believe the league will mandate players to get the vaccine but with such a policy in place, it will make players feel pressure to do so.

“It sort of puts the pressure on everyone,” said one player. “You don’t want to be the reason your team plays shorthanded or is forced to be stuck inside your hotel like last season.”

The Athletic