Tag: Andrej Meszaros

New York Islanders v Buffalo Sabres

Sabres send McCabe and Pysyk to AHL

The Buffalo Sabres have assigned defensemen Jake McCabe and Mark Pysyk to AHL Rochester.

Neither McCabe, 21, nor Pysyk, 22, have played this season; both have been recovering from injuries.

The Sabres already had eight healthy d-men on the roster: Andre Benoit, Josh Gorges, Andrej Meszaros, Tyler Myers, Rasmus Ristolainen, Tyson Strachan, Mike Weber, and Nikita Zadorov.

Buffalo hosts Florida on Friday.

‘Expectation’ for Buffalo to make playoffs, says Gionta

Brian Gionta,

Brian Gionta has played in the NHL 12 years, and only missed the playoffs once.

He doesn’t plan on doing it twice.

“My expectation is to make the playoffs. I didn’t go [to Buffalo] to sit around and watch the playoffs on TV,” Gionta said, per ESPN. “The expectation is to make the playoffs and continue to grow and build. I think that’s the first step. I think it’s a realistic step to try to get in there in the playoffs.”

A centerpiece of Buffalo’s veteran-laden free agent summer coup — along with Josh Gorges, Matt Moulson, Andrej Meszaros, Cody McCormick and Andre Benoit — Gionta provides the Sabres with immense postseason experience. A veteran of over 100 playoff games (112, to be exact), Gionta won a Cup with the Devils in 2003 and went to a pair of Eastern Conference Finals with Montreal, finishing second on the team in goals (nine) and points (15) in 2010.

The Sabres, though, aren’t exactly in a place to talk playoffs. The club is coming off one of the worst showings in franchise history and has just two postseason appearances in the last seven years, failing to advance past the first round both times. What’s more, parts of this year’s team are woefully inexperienced — at center, the club’s top three options could very well be Cody Hodgson (24 years old), Zemgus Girgensons (20) and Sam Reinhart (18).

That said, things can change in a hurry in the Eastern Conference. Tampa Bay was the No. 3 seed after finishing 14th during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, while the Islanders went the other way — going from an eighth seed in ’13 to missing the postseason by 14 points last year.

It’s Buffalo Sabres day on PHT

Cody Hodgson

Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Buffalo Sabres.

The Sabres entered 2013-14 with low expectations, but even with that in mind it was a disappointing campaign. They got off to a 0-6-1 start, never did better than a three-game winning streak, and finished the season with 52 points, which was 14 less than the next worst team.

Buffalo’s offense was a disaster. Only four players recorded at least 10 goals with the Sabres and Cody Hodgson led the team with 44 points. Collectively, they averaged just 1.83 goals per game, which is worse than any team has done since the dawn of the 21st century.

And yet, it’s not all doom-and-gloom in Buffalo. The Sabres made some moves that should help them down the road, starting with the trade of Thomas Vanek to the Islanders in exchange for Matt Moulson, a 2015 first-round pick, and a second round selection. They later dealt Moulson and Cody McCormick to Minnesota in exchange for Torrey Mitchell and a pair of second rounders.

Buffalo also sent goaltender Ryan Miller and captain Steve Ott to St. Louis and got, among other things, Chris Stewart, another 2015 first rounder, and goaltender Jaroslav Halak (who they later flipped to Washington in a deal that brought goalie Michal Neuvirth to Buffalo).

Losing the likes of Vanek, Miller, and Ott had to hurt, but they might have walked away as free agents anyways and Buffalo now has three 2015 first round picks to work with.

Over the summer, Buffalo brought back Moulson on a five-year, $25 million contract and also added veterans Brian Gionta, Cody McCormick, and Andrej Meszaros. The hope is that they’ll help guide the Sabres’ young core.

On paper, the Sabres look like a team in for another long season, but at least there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about Buffalo’s future.

Sabres sign d-man Benoit — one year, $800,000

Colorado Avalanche v San Jose Sharks

The Buffalo Sabres have signed defenseman Andre Benoit to a one-year, $800,000 contract, according to TSN’s Aaron Ward.

Benoit played 79 games for Colorado last season, scoring seven goals with 21 assists while logging 20:13 of ice time per contest. The undrafted 30-year-old has skated in 120 NHL games with the Avalanche and Senators, plus a whole bunch more in the AHL and in Europe.

In Buffalo, Benoit will join newcomers Josh Gorges and Andrej Meszaros on a Sabres blue line that struggled both defensively and offensively last season, and also one that no longer has Christian Ehrhoff.

Expect Benoit to get time on the power play. In Colorado, he averaged 2:26 per game with the man advantage, scoring once with seven assists.

Sabres GM Murray cared not for salary floor, makes big first-day splash


BUFFALO — Tim Murray told everyone all along he wasn’t concerned about the salary floor and after the first day of free agency, he was happy to remind everyone exactly why he wasn’t.

“You guys always asked about the floor which I never understood, but anyway,” Murray said before opening his end-of-day press conference at First Niagara Center. “I said earlier, it’s always easy to spend money. You guys just didn’t have faith that Buffalo was a destination, that’s all.”

Buffalo a destination? With the team that finished 30th in the league last season? You better believe it.

In one day, Murray went on a bonanza. He signed Montreal Canadiens captain Brian Gionta to a three-year, $12.75 million deal, acquired defenseman Josh Gorges from the Habs for a 2016 second-round pick, brought back two former players in Cody McCormick and Matt Moulson, the latter on a five-year, $25 million deal, landed defenseman Andrej Meszaros from Boston on a one-year, $4.125 million deal as well as re-signing forward Marcus Foligno to a two-year deal.

Phew. While that might seem like a scramble to help the team reach the salary floor, which according to CapGeek they have, Murray had another motivation — establishing Buffalo as a destination for the future.

“I think our kids are sitting at home going, ‘Wow,'” Murray said. “They know these players. They watch the National Hockey League. They know the quality of the player, they know the quality of the person, they know the character. This is as excited as they are to get drafted by Buffalo in the last couple years. They know it’s a team that is not there. We can say it’s a team on the rise – people have to see that. I just think there’s some kids at home going, ‘This is great’.”

Part of what will help those young Sabres players like 2014 first-round pick Sam Reinhart, 2013 first-round picks Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov, and 2012 first-round picks Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons is the kind of veteran leadership this new crew of Sabres will provide.

“We’re more competitive,” Murray said. “We’ve got a lot of character now. We have leadership now. That’s important to me when you’re adding young players every year. There’s a short-term and a long-term. The long-term is that your young players get better. Your young players become pros. They’re not just good players, they’re good NHL players and I think that this group of people that we’ve added today can help in that regard.”

Before you get too excited, Murray admitted they’re a long way off still, but they’re a better team. That doesn’t mean he’s not excited for what’s to come though.

“People can get on the bandwagon early or get on late, it really doesn’t matter,” Murray said. “But if you want to be more right than you are wrong… I don’t want to sound cocky, but get on a little earlier than you might have thought because this is serious stuff. We take the job seriously, we prepare seriously.”