The Sabres still need to work out contracts with their top restricted free agents, but they made sure to retain the rights to seven of them Monday.
Buffalo has issued qualifying offers to Rasmus Ristolainen, Zemgus Girgensons, Marcus Foligno, Jake McCabe, Casey Nelson, Jason Kasdorf and Dan Catenacci. They declined to keep Nathan Lieuwen, Alexander Guptill, Jack Nevins, Colin Jacobs or Andrey Makarov, with all five now eligible for unrestricted free agency. Makarov has already signed in Russia.
NHL teams had a 5 p.m. deadline for qualifying offers, which entitle the Sabres to compensation should any of the players sign elsewhere.
Foligno's qualifying offer matches last season's salary of $2.25 million. Ristolainen, McCabe and Nelson are entitled to 105 percent of last season's $925,000 salaries, while Girgensons' qualifying offer is 105 percent of his $832,500 contract. All but Nelson are expected to negotiate new deals rather than sign their qualifying offer.