Buffalo Sabres (and Rochester Americans) fans have two less defensemen to worry about when it comes to the impending free agency – because they’re already gone. Dennis Persson and Shaone Morrisonn have both signed to play overseas next season, with the SEL and KHL respectively.Persson was drafted by the Sabres in 2006, but spent time in the Swedish Elite League (SEL) before joining the Portland Pirates for part of the 2008-2009 season. He played eight games that year, making his North American debut.
The following two seasons were also spent with Portland, and Persson made the leap to Rochester this year with the Sabres affiliate move. In 39 games, he had three goals and four assists; he struggled to find a roster spot late in the season.
He was set to become a restricted free agent on July 1, and has now signed with Brynas IF of the SEL. According to Brynas’ website, the contract is a two-year deal.
Since Sabres GM Darcy Regier announced earlier that the team will make qualifying offers to all its restricted free agents, the club will most likely retain Persson’s North American rights.
Shaone Morrisonn has also signed overseas, with HC Spartak Moscow of the KHL.
He began his NHL career after being drafted by the Boston Bruins in 2001. Morrisonn played with the Bruins organization, including some time spent with Providence of the AHL, until he was traded to Washington in 2004.
After spending parts of two seasons with the Portland Pirates of the AHL, he found a solid roster spot on the Capitals’ lineup for five seasons before becoming a free agent in 2010.
That’s when he signed with the Sabres, and it initially appeared that he would stay with the NHL club. In his first season, he played solely in Buffalo – 62 games, with a goal and four assists.
However, the team placed him on waivers prior to the 2011-12 season. He wasn’t picked up and was reassigned to the AHL’s Rochester Americans.
This season, he played 65 games with the Amerks, tallying four goals and 11 assists in that time.
Morrisonn was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.