With the trade of Derek Roy to Dallas, the Buffalo Sabres expected to enter the 2012-13 season with Tyler Ennis competing for the first-line center job.
Just one problem — uncertainty surrounding the CBA.
More, from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News:
Ennis enters the season as Buffalo’s No. 1 center but missed 34 games last year and is unlikely to get a massive jump from the $875,000 he made last season. Regier said he expects to speak again with the Ennis camp this week.
“I realize there’s one eye on these negotiations and there’s one eye on the CBA from both sides,” [Sabers GM Darcy] Regier said. “But we’ll revisit it again and hopefully keep moving towards a settlement.”
Ennis is in a similar boat with fellow RFAs P.K. Subban, John Carlson, Michael Del Zotto, Evander Kane, Ryan O’Reilly and Jamie Benn. All are without deals heading into the Sept. 15 CBA expiration date, though most are expected to make a significant raise upon their entry-level deals.
Kane is rumored to have received a six-year, $29 million deal from the Jets while O’Reilly reportedly has a three-year deal on the table from Colorado, believed to be worth $3 to $4.5 million annually.
Kyle Turris is gearing up for his fifth season with the Ottawa Senators, but this campaign will be a little different.
Ottawa announced that Turris will be joining Chris Neil as one of the team’s alternate captains. Turris is assuming that role from Chris Phillips as the 37-year-old defenseman remains out indefinitely due to a back injury.
Since being acquired from the then Phoenix Coyotes in 2011, Turris has established himself as one of Ottawa’s top forwards. He tied for second in the team’s scoring race last season with 64 points in 82 contests and gelled with rookie linemate Mark Stone.
With the Senators favoring a youth movement, Turris actually stands out as one of the Senators’ more experienced players at the age of 26. He’s also set to play a big role with the Senators for years to come as he’s locked to an affordable $3.5 million annual cap hit through 2017-18.
Meanwhile defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting ready for his second season as the team’s captain.
On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.
Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.
The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.
There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.
Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.