Author: Mike Halford

Columbus Blue Jackets v Buffalo Sabres

Sabres re-sign Pysyk: two years, $2.25 million


The Buffalo Sabres have re-upped with RFA blueliner Mark Pysyk on a two-year, $2.25 million deal, per CBC.

Pysyk, 23, just wrapped his entry-level deal with Buffalo — he was the club’s first-round pick (23rd overall) in 2010 — but only appeared in seven games for the Sabres last year, spending most of the season in AHL Rochester before collapsing during a pickup basketball game in February.

(Pysyk, once medically cleared, did return to play three games for the Amerks at the end of the season.)

This new deal has a $1.125M cap hit, and Pysyk will carry that into next season looking to become a full-time NHLer. He appeared in 44 games during the ’13-14 campaign, but was dispatched to the AHL last year to work on his game; Pysyk’s chances of sticking with Buffalo in ’15-16 should be aided by the fact three regulars from last year — Nikita Zadorov, Andrej Meszaros, Andre Benoit — are no longer with the club.

That said, GM Tim Murray did bring in a trio of veteran presences in Matt Donovan, Carlo Colaiacovo and Bobby Sanguinetti this offseason.

Civil lawsuit against Flames’ Ferland dropped


Calgary forward Micheal Ferland, who enjoyed a breakout performance in April’s playoff win over Vancouver, is no longer facing a civil lawsuit stemming from an incident outside of a bar in July 2012.

More, from the Globe and Mail:

Legal firm Ruttan Bates says Jayson Eyma has dropped a civil lawsuit against Ferland over a scuffle outside a bar.

The law firm says Ferland has dropped a counterclaim in which he was seeking damages for the fight and for malicious prosecution.

Eyma had alleged that Ferland sucker-punched him in the face, fracturing a bone that required surgery.

Ferland, who was acquitted of criminal charges, has always said he was defending himself, his aunt and his girlfriend from an unprovoked attack.

His lawyers say he did not make any settlement payment.

Ferland, 23, made his NHL debut this season with Calgary, scoring two goals and five points in 26 games.

Against the Canucks, he quickly made a name for himself with thunderous hits and tenacious forechecking; all told, he finished the postseason with three goals and five points in nine games, including a three-point effort in the series-clinching Game 6 win over Vancouver.

Devils ink d-man Gelinas to ‘nice little bridge deal’ — two years, $3.15M

Eric Gelinas, Peter Harrold, Jon Merrill

New Jersey has re-upped with one of its brightest blueline prospects, signing Eric Gelinas to a two-year contract extension worth $3.15 million.

Gelinas will be paid $1.5M in the first year and $1.65M in the second, per CBC. The deal carries an average annual cap hit of $1.575 million.

“They were talking for a while, so I was just waiting for my agent to give me some news and they told me today that they agreed on the terms,” Gelinas said, per “Obviously, I’m more comfortable with a  two-year deal. It’s a nice little bridge deal. I’m really happy to have agreed before arbitration also. I’m really happy with the deal.”

The two sides were scheduled to go to arbitration on July 21.

Gelinas, 24, is coming off his first two full seasons with the Devils — in ’13-14, he enjoyed a solid rookie campaign by scoring seven goals and 29 points in 60 games; last year, his production dipped slightly (six goals and 19 points) in 61 contests.

Gelinas also fell on some tough times.

He was parked as a healthy scratch for a six-game stretch in February amid concerns about his defensive awareness, the second time such concerns had been raised. Previously, in December, Gelinas was made a healthy scratch for two games.

“What young players, especially young defensemen, have to understand is if you create three chances and give up three, we’re not further ahead,” then-head coach Peter DeBoer said of Gelinas’ struggles, per the Bergen Record. “We always talk about having a positive impact on the game. [If] you’re creating one chance and giving up none, that’s a positive impact.

“If you’re creating five and giving up five, we’re no further ahead and that’s the battle for young defensemen and offensive players.”