By Michael Lee Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray said he doesn’t expect Ference, who was the team’s defensive captain during the regular season, to return to the team in 2017-18.
Ference was the first of the Sabres’ free agents to sign with the organization.
He has three goals and four assists in 22 games with the team, including a goal and two assists in a 3-1 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.
Murray said he was still hoping to have Ference signed to a long-term contract in early January.
Ference is expected to return in January.
“The thing with the Sabres is that they’re a team that likes to make trades and we know they’re going to do that, so it’s kind of like, ‘OK, let’s just try and keep the cap down and hopefully it’s not a big issue,'” Murray said.
Ferent is a restricted free agent this summer and will be eligible for an offer sheet from a playoff team.