BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Most every hockey fan around Western New York knows that former Sabres stars Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart will face off in this year’s Stanley Cup Final between the Vegas Golden Knights and Florida Panthers.
However, the duo once hailed as the franchise’s future aren’t the only former Sabres competing for the Cup.
Buffalo has eight of its former players on the Panthers and Golden Knights’ rosters combined, the most of any other NHL team. The second-most is a four-way tie between Columbus, Anaheim, Carolina and Los Angeles, who all have just five.
The Golden Knights boast two other ex-Sabres alongside Eichel, with defenseman Brayden McNabb (2011-2014) and forward William Carrier (2016-2017) expected to suit up for Vegas. Both have been members of the Golden Knights since their first season in the NHL, with Carrier being the player selected off Buffalo’s roster in the expansion draft.
Joining Reinhart as former Sabres that are regulars in Florida’s lineup are defenseman Brandon Montour (2019-2021) and forward Eric Staal (2020-2021). Montour, whom Buffalo traded to Florida for a third-round pick, leads all NHL defensemen in goals this postseason.
Additionally, forward Zac Dalpe (2015) has been in and out of the Panthers’ lineup this postseason, and defenseman Casey Fitzgerald (2021-2022) has made just one playoff appearance for Florida. Fitzgerald played 23 games for Buffalo this season and was claimed off waivers by Florida in January.
The Stanley Cup Final between the Panthers and Golden Knights begins Saturday with Game 1 in Las Vegas. Puck drop is slated for 8 p.m.
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