Chris Stewart

Sabres’ Stewart knows he might be on the move — again


Having already been moved once this year — from St. Louis to Buffalo as part of the Ryan Miller blockbuster — Chris Stewart knows he could be shipped out again, per the Sabres’ website:

Stewart said he sees a lot of pieces on the way that could push the Sabres to become a very good team rather quickly.

A lot can change over the course of the summer and he’s also aware of the possibility that he could be on the move again.

“I don’t think it’s going to take that long to turn it around here. Obviously you’re subject to all those trade rumors and all the stuff like that, but that’s out of my control,” Stewart said. “Like I’ve said before, as long as I’m a Buffalo Sabre, I’m just going to worry about helping this team win hockey games and that’s all that’s on my mind.”

Just 26, Stewart could be retained as part of Buffalo’s rebuilding process. He’s a two-time 28-goal scorer that was on pace to score 30 during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign (he finished with 18 in 48 games), and was scoring at a decent clip last season as well — 15 goals in 58 games with the Blues — before the trade to Buffalo, followed by a season-ending injury just five games into his Sabres tenure.

That said, Stewart could net Buffalo some good returns this summer.

There’s a general sense around the NHL that the offseason trade market will be busy, thanks in large part to a lack of quality free agents and the fact seven new GMs are heading into their first draft/free agency period. One of those GMs is Buffalo’s Tim Murray, who has wheeled and dealt plenty already (the Miller trade, the Matt Moulson trade.)

Stewart could be a movable asset, given there’s only one year left on his deal (at $4.1 million) and the fact teams could be keen to add a goalscoring winger with size.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.

Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jhonas Enroth #1 and Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings stretch before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
via Los Angeles Kings
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In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.

The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.

At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.

As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.

The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.

All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.