Sabres GM plans to speak to Stamkos: 'We're going to chase the big fish'

Bill Wippert / National Hockey League / Getty

The Buffalo Sabres are going fishing in free agency.

Following the NHL draft on Saturday, general manager Tim Murray said he'll reach out to Steven Stamkos and his representatives to see if the star forward has any interest in signing with the club.

"We're going to chase the big fish (in free agency)," Murray added.

The Sabres have close to $20 million in available cap space and an owner with deep pockets, making Buffalo a viable option for Stamkos on the open market.

In an attempt to further entice Stamkos, Murray also said the Sabres can offer him the benefit of geography - being close to his hometown of Toronto - and sees him as only a center.

The GM also believes teams can win with a player earning $10 million to $11 million per season.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, of course, hold Stamkos' rights until July 1, at which point he can become an unrestricted free agent.

The period during which other teams can contact prospective UFAs began Saturday, meaning Murray is free to give Stamkos a call.

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Sabres GM plans to speak to Stamkos: 'We're going to chase the big fish'
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