Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres Claim Zenon Konopka Off Waivers

With Drew Stafford joining Cody Hodgson and Ville Leino on the injury list, the Buffalo Sabres had little choice other than acquiring someone off waivers or via trade. Today the Buffalo Sabres claimed Zenon Konopka off waivers from the Minnesota Wild.


The only player available for call up from the Rochester Americans was forward Phil Varone and thus the Sabres were forced to find other short term options. This is the second waiver claim by the Buffalo Sabres this season.

Zenon Konopka is an un-drafted player who worked his way into the NHL after three gruelling season’s in the ECHL and AHL. The Anaheim Ducks gave him his first chance in the NHL during the 2005-2006 season and Konopka played in 23 games putting up 7 points. Since his NHL debut, Konopka has laced up for over 287 games split between 6 different NHL teams.

This season Konopka has played in 36 NHL games with the Minnesota Wild putting up just 2 points while racking up 55 penalty minutes. Konopka will likely fill a role on the third or fourth line with the Sabres as he plays a more gritty game much like Patrick Kaleta. He won’t score many jaw dropping goals, but much like Matt Ellis and Brian Flynn, he will provide you with hard work night in and night out.

The Buffalo Sabres need able bodies up front and with Konopka hitting waivers today, this move was forecasted last night when Stafford went down. Sabres needed bodies so Konopka will be given an opportunity to play.

Despite being mostly a fighter and more of a grinder, Konopka is a guy who can win face-offs and the Sabres need someone who can win draws as their centre’s haven’t been able to get the job done at the dot. Zenon Konopka is a player who fans can easily fall in love with. He is a hard working player who plays the game all out and wear’s his heart on his sleeve, much like Kaleta and Steve Ott. Konopka will add character to the Sabres roster as they head into the second half of the season.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Zenon Konopka

  • Dano

    HOLT *&^%)$% Sh1t! The Gods have favored Buffalo!

    Looks like 1 of the 9 ‘ fighting forwards ‘ Tim asked for was answered on his days-of-christmas theme came to fruition.

  • Kevin

    I can’t believe the crap!!! Another scrub. This guy is worthless. What has he ever done? BTW the Sabres could have had Taylor Pyatt who was on the waiver wire all of yesterday if the Sabres didn’t have their hands in their pockets. Instead he went to Pittsburgh. Also answer me this, the Sabres have a handful of picks higher picks and cap room, why can’t they make a trade for somebody decent? If all we are going to see is guys like this guy, Omark and D’Agostini we better get a GM in here fast that knows what the hell he is doing. Oh! but wait, were saving our picks and money for next year blah blah blah. In the meantime the Sabres score 1 goal in 6 periods! I feel like we are in the AHL and just made a trade with the Utica Comets.

    • Dano

      “Another scrub. This guy is worthless. What has he ever done?”

      Won a lot of face-offs, kills penalties, plays dirty, gets aggressive, stands up for team-mates, pots an occasional point ( 3-4 a year on average.. ).

      “lso answer me this, the Sabres have a handful of picks higher picks and cap room, why can’t they make a trade for somebody decent?”

      THAT is the real question that needs to be answered. I too wish they would pull the trigger and go after a player of scoring calibre. A ‘ top 6 ‘ type of forward.

      I believe the real problem is the ‘ draft dreaming ‘ and wanting to hold back. The Sabres are giving people just a little bit of entertainment so they will continue to buy into the entertainment factor and keep people in the stands.

      “Oh! but wait, were saving our picks and money for next year blah blah blah. In the meantime the Sabres score 1 goal in 6 periods! I feel like we are in the AHL and just made a trade with the Utica Comets.”

      Yep! that ‘ blah blah blah ‘ part is the next step. They ditched the GM, a pair of coaches, replaced them, now its time to start doing ‘ serious ‘ moves. Theres no need to sit on the laurels till July. Thats 7 months away. Plenty of time to get to work and start building.

      Linus, Z, D’aga.. 3 player moves in just as many weeks. The ‘ appearance ‘ that something is being done is a nice touch, but its smoke and mirrors at best.

      All we can really expect to look forward to is a lot of ‘ try this player ‘ type of events. Culling the used/unwanted/unliked players from other teams that hit waivers.

      What *COULD* happen ( and people dont want to hear about it ) is the Sabres finishing dead last and NOT winning the lotteries in 14/15. Watching Reinhart and McDavid go to other teams.. while the Sabres sat around doing nothing but grabbing waiver players. The Sabres will still draft high, but might not get who they want.

      As for Grabbing Zenon, I like the idea of turning him and Scott loose on the Bruins. Run the living piss out of them. Goon the crap out of them as they have other teams for quite a while. The Bruins already have some injured players, lets give Jack Edwards some more to sing about. ;)

    • Jes

      You really think Pyatt’s any better then Konopka?

      Yes they have draft picks and cap room but why make a trade for anything spectacular already when we are basically eliminated from playoff contention and are looking forward to the draft lottery? Anything to significantly to improve our team will happen in the offseason. Right now it’s more about shedding players like Miller and Moulson then adding players of that stature. There’s no quick fix to this problem.

      Only reason Konopka was picked up was because of the injuries otherwise he’d be passed up too. I’d personally would’ve just stood put.

    • Dano

      Second reply on my part.. just some thoughts to support what your saying.. Some ‘ rumors ‘ going about..

      - “The Nashville Predators are in heavy talks with the Anaheim Ducks about G Jonas Hiller as they suffer with Pekka Rinne out. If the timetable for Rinne’s return is longer than expected it’s believed that the Preds will pull the trigger on a trade!”

      Mike Fisher and a pick/prospect for Miller?

      - “The Edmonton Oilers are negotiating hard with the Philadelphia Flyers to acquire Wayne Simmonds and are offering Ales Hemsky but the Flyers want Jordan Eberle. Both sides want a shakeup but each want the better deal!”

      Offer Grigorenko and a second/prospect for Eberle OR Simmonds.

      - “The Winnipeg Jets have been fielding calls about Evander Kane and could pull a trade if the team continues to fall out of the division race.”

      There was a discussion about E.Kane on this very site. I wouldnt mind seeing E.Kane playing for the Sabres.

      Theres MANY opportunities for the Sabres to engage into trades but as you stated, Kevin, they arent getting involved in anything worthy of note.

  • Jes

    Totally called this…

    Ok player but we already have a team full of them. I’m guessing injuries handcuffed Nolan. From what he’s been doing in his NHL career he seems to be a Nolan guy. So not a surprising move by any means.

  • qwicwted

    I like Tyler Pyatt, big body, but slow. Konopka might be a good pick up – didn’t cost us anything and I’ll be honest, I notice D’Agostini on the ice more than I do Ennis. I have to agree – it just doesn’t feel like we are doing anything to improve – hell we can’t even pass to each other. There are trades to be made and we do have some valuable assets – Erhoff, Moulson, Ott, Grigorenko and Ennis. I can’t really add Stafford in there because I don’t think he has done enough to raise his value. I would even add Myers in there as much as Jes doesn’t agree. I thought Patty said he would have someone in place by New Year’s – well we’re into Day 3 and nothing – just another waiver pickup. Like you Kevin – I have no problem with a rebuild, but I want to see some of our youth play, not just our journeymen, character guys.

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