My initial hope for Stafford was a contract of the same length at $3.5M per year, but I knew there was a very real possibility that it would be half or even a full million dollars higher. I think the $4M price tag is fair, even if Stafford takes a small step back from his numbers last year. Thirty goal, fifty to sixty point guys are making that money for an entire season's worth of putting up those numbers and Stafford did it in just 62 games. If we can coax 75+ games and 60 points out of Stafford, the money fits, and if he continues to show up on the penalty kill, even better.
With a rising salary cap, the deal allows the Sabres to make one of any number of moderate to big moves in the offseason, which I think is key. There are some obvious holes to fill at center and on defense and management has left themselves with the ability to do just that.