Sabres lock down Ristolainen for six years, $32.4M

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The Buffalo Sabres signed defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to a six-year, $32.4 million contract on Tuesday.

(In a somewhat unusual bit of transparency, the team actually confirmed his $5.4 million cap hit in the press release. That’s refreshing.)

“Rasmus has already proven to be a pivotal player on our blue line and we are eager to have him back with the team,” GM Tim Murray said. “This deal is a reflection of the hard work and improvement Rasmus has shown since being drafted and we hope to see him continue on this trajectory moving forward.”

Ristolainen is indeed a promising blueliner given the same contract as another promising blueliner: Seth Jones.

This signing makes Ristolainen the Sabres’ most expensive defenseman, edging Zach Bogosian‘s $5.14 million cap hit. He’s Buffalo’s third most-expensive player overall, from an average annual value standpoint.

Considering the Finnish blueliner’s size and scoring output, the Sabres have to hope that he works out better than Tyler Myers, the last big, blue-chip-type blueliner they gave a big contract to.