Girgensons received a qualifying offer from the Sabres, making him a restricted free agent.
Girgensons had a very tough season, scoring just seven goals and 16 points in his fourth year in the league after scoring 52 points in his first two seasons. Girgensons spent much of the season toiling on the fourth line, and was deployed at center and on the wing in an effort to get him going, but usually to no avail. The 23-year-old enters a key stretch of his development, and the Sabres qualified him partly because they know he has much more to offer. It's likely that Girgensons settles for another short-term contract to prove himself, but will face competition in camp from Johan Larsson, who leapfrogged Girgensons on the depth chart this past season.