Niklas Hagman

Hagman sent to AHL

Calgary forward Niklas Hagman has cleared waivers and been assigned to the Abbotsford Heat of the AHL.

Hagman was a key part of the Dion Phaneuf trade, coming over from the Leafs along with Jamal Mayers (no longer with the club), Ian White (no longer with the club), and Matt Stajan (awful contract, can’t get rid of him).

So that worked out well for the Flames.

Hagman, 31, is in the final year of a contract with a cap hit of $3 million. He only appeared in eight games for Calgary, scoring once and adding three assists.

Flames GM Jay Feaster gets some additional cap space out of the move, which will lead to speculation a trade is on the horizon. I suppose it’s possible, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Hagman still has to be paid his full NHL salary, something ownership can’t be thrilled with.

This is probably more about cutting ties with a player that has no future with the club while allowing his roster spot to be filled with someone that does.

In this case, that someone is Mikael Backlund, who will make his season debut with the Flames tonight in Chicago. Backlund missed the first 14 games with a broken pinky finger.

Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.