Restricted free agent watch is over, and the Buffalo Sabres have signed two of their four RFAs to contracts. Jhonas Enroth was signed prior to my post – and Mike Weber was signed just hours after it was published.
Buffalo now has has to turn their eyes to the draft, and shortly after that unrestricted free agents. Buffalo has two UFAs on their books that they have to put some serious consideration into. Our first featured unrestricted free agent is Adam Pardy.
Pardy was drafted 173rd overall in the 2004 draft by the Calgary Flames. He has appeared in 200 NHL contests with the Flames, Dallas Stars, and Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres acquired Pardy has an added bonus in the trade that sent Derek Roy to the Dallas Stars in return for Steve Ott. If the Steve Ott for Derek Roy trade wasn’t one of the best in recent Sabres history, the addition of Pardy in the trade made the trade even more worth it.
After the trade, the Buffalo Sabres placed Pardy on waivers, and assigned him to the Rochester Americans. The Sabres most likely took on Pardy to save the Dallas Stars on cap space. After appearing in 21 games with the Rochester Americans, he was called up and appeared in 17 games for the Buffalo Sabres to finish out the regular season. The addition of number 27 to the blue line was horrible, and in fact played well in his NHL call up.
Pardy will be hard pressed to find a roster spot on the Buffalo Sabres roster. With the three year deal signed by Mike Weber, it appears as though Weber has finally found a spot on the Sabres roster. He will join Christian Ehrhoff, Tyler Myers, and Andrej Sekera in the mix. That gives the Buffalo Sabres four NHL defenseman. The emergence of Mark Pysyk and Chad Ruhwedel give the Sabres the depth they need at the position, and those two guys could be the sixth and seventh defenseman that the Buffalo Sabres like to carry.
That being said, the new regime of Ron Rolston will most likely operate slightly different than the tenure of Lindy Ruff – and if Rolston liked what he saw in Pardy – a deal could be on the table to try and keep him in Blue and Gold. After journeying through three NHL teams – and a successful shortened campaign in Buffalo – Pardy may want to test the free agent waters to see if he won’t be offered a contract by a team that will guarantee him an opening night roster spot. Just because Adam Pardy makes it to the July 5th opening of free agency doesn’t ensure his departure from Buffalo – it just gives him options. The Buffalo Sabres like to have depth at defense, and Pardy offers them that depth.