It’s been three weeks since the NHL’s free agency period opened, and the Buffalo Sabres have been one of the more active teams in the NHL. Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray has made a splash, both through signings and trades. Here’s your three-week recap of who’s gone, who’s come to Buffalo, who’s returned to Buffalo, and all the other Sabres moves in this stretch.
WELCOME TO THE BUFFALO SABRES
In the past three weeks, Tim Murray has added eight new players to the Buffalo Sabres organization, including six of whom were signed through free agency.
Start things off with the return of Matt Moulson to the Buffalo Sabres. He chose to sign with Buffalo after the team traded him to Minnesota in March along with Cody McCormick. Speaking of which — welcome back, Cody McCormick, who also signed with the Sabres in free agency.
Both already have experience playing with the Sabres club, and it’s clear that both want to return to Buffalo. It’s always nice to have players who really want to be here.
Gionta is a great addition to the Sabres lineup. The Rochester, NY native grew up disliking the Toronto Maple Leafs — come on, don’t you already love him? He’s got leadership experience, having served as captain of the Montreal Canadiens, and I think he’ll be a good fit for the Sabres.
Meszaros is a former Philadelphia Flyers defenseman who spent part of last season with the Boston Bruins. The Slovakian brings nearly 600 games of NHL experience to the Sabres and fills a slightly-empty blueline.
The Buffalo Sabres also signed forward Zac Dalpe (from Vancouver) and defenseman Tyson Strachan (from Washington). Both will likely end up in the AHL with the Rochester Americans, but they’re solid depth signings.
Also welcome to Buffalo is 24-year-old left winger Jordan Samuels-Thomas. The Sabres acquired his rights in a trade from Winnipeg and then signed him. He’ll be another addition to the Amerks lineup, bringing size and grit to the AHL squad.
Not brought in through free agency but instead via trade, Josh Gorges is another new addition to the Sabres lineup, joining his former Montreal Canadiens teammate Gionta. He has 560 games of NHL experience and was acquired in exchange for a draft pick.
BYE, BYE, BYE, FROM THE BUFFALO SABRES
While the Sabres have brought in several new faces, there’s also some familiar ones who won’t be back in Buffalo/Rochester when October rolls around.
Start off with defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, who signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Then there’s Cory Conacher, who signed with the New York Islanders, and Kevin Porter, gone to the Detroit Red Wings.
Another subtraction: John Scott, who signed with the San Jose Sharks.
Goaltender Connor Knapp has yet to sign with another team, but wasn’t qualified by the Sabres and became an unrestricted free agent. Shawn Szydlowski, Matt MacKenzie, Nick Crawford – all waiting.
….. BUT I’M STILL HERE
With all the additions and subtractions, there’s a few players who will return to Buffalo after spending last season with the Sabres.
Free agency is far from over; after all, there’s still plenty of guys out there waiting for contracts from NHL clubs. Who else will the Sabres bring in, either through free agency or via trade? Who will return to Buffalo, and who will depart? As the season grows closer and free agency continues, things can always get more interesting. Stick around and see what else Tim Murray has up his sleeve.