Tag: Buffalo Sabres

Carolina Hurricanes v Buffalo Sabres

Agent: Contract talks between Sabres, Kaleta expected this week


The agent for Patrick Kaleta and Sabres’ GM Tim Murray are expected to have contract talks this week.

Kaleta’s three-year, $3.75 million deal is set to expire next month.

Anton Thun tells PHT he hopes to have a better idea of where his client sits with the Sabres heading into the NHL Draft (June 26-27).

The 28-year-old appeared in just 82 games total over the past three seasons.

He missed much of the 2013-14 season after tearing his ACL in November 2013.

Kaleta then missed the start of the 2014-15 season after taking a puck to the face in the preseason.

He also missed time this season after undergoing surgery for his lower body injury.

Kaleta appeared in 42 games for the Sabres this season registering three assists, a minus-11 rating and 36 penalty minutes while averaging just under nine minutes a night in ice time.

Need a goalie? No shortage of options out there


Don’t underestimate the importance of the backup goalie. In today’s NHL, where parity reigns, it can be the difference between making and missing the playoffs.

Think that’s overstating things? Give Jim Nill a call in Dallas. The Stars’ GM gambled on Anders Lindback this season, and it cost his team big time. With a capable backup, the Stars wouldn’t have had to lean so heavily on a struggling Kari Lehtonen. Dallas went on to finish with the NHL’s second-worst team save percentage (.895). Also, seven points back of a playoff spot.

Meanwhile, remember what Andrew Hammond did for the Senators? And Eddie Lack for the Canucks when Ryan Miller went down with an injury? Do either of those teams make the playoffs without such solid play from their backups?

Having one capable goalie is nice. Having two is even better. Heck, in the Senators’ case, it was three.

Remember that on July 1 when unrestricted free agents are expected to include Antti Niemi, Karri Ramo, Michal Neuvirth, and Jhonas Enroth. (As of today, Devan Dubnyk can become unrestricted as well, but it would be a surprise if he doesn’t re-sign with Minnesota.)

And then there’s the trade market. The Senators are trying to trade Craig Anderson or Robin Lehner. The Canucks are expected to deal one of Lack or Jacob Markstrom. The Blackhawks have three goalies under contract; what could Antti Raanta fetch them? Would the Leafs trade James Reimer? They’d listen to offers, that’s for sure.

So yeah, lots of options out there.

In spite of all the supply, Canucks GM Jim Benning is confident there’s enough demand that he’ll be able to recover something for either Lack or Markstrom.

“I think there’s enough teams that need goalies that if we decide to move someone that we won’t have a problem doing it,” he said recently in a radio interview.

And according to a report in the Ottawa Sun, there are seven teams interested in the Senators’ goalies.

The Edmonton Oilers are probably one of those seven teams. They finished the season with the NHL’s worst team save percentage (.888).

“I’ve had discussions on teams with goalies,” GM Peter Chiarelli said yesterday. “We’ve got a goalie under contract in Ben Scrivens.”

We’ve speculated that the Oilers may have interest in a veteran like Anderson, but Chiarelli refused to get into specifics.

“Obviously I’m not going to comment on any discussions with specific teams,” he said.

So, expect plenty of goalies to change clubs this summer. And when the 16 playoff teams are finalized for 2016, don’t be surprised if we’re looking back at one or two moves that made a difference between making and missing.

Related: If Anderson is available, should the Oilers be interested?

Getting acquainted: Bylsma and Kane met for three hours

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 4.07.23 PM

While Evander Kane was in Buffalo last week having his shoulder evaluated he also had the opportunity to meet new Sabres’ head coach Dan Bylsma.

The two reportedly met for three hours to get to know one another.

Bylsma also spoke with former Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel about the 23-year-old forward.

As for what Noel told Bylsma?

“There is probably not a guy who is more competitive than Evander Kane,” Bylsma told Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Bylsma has also considered the idea pairing Kane alongside Jack Eichel the projected No. 2 selection at next month’s NHL Draft.

“If that can work, imagine it coming at you,” Bylsma said of the pair’s speed.

Bylsma had an up close look at Eichel when the two were with Team USA at the World Hockey Championship in the Czech Republic.

“Right away in the tournament — versus Finland, versus Russia — he showed he could play against men, 16-18 minutes,” said Bylsma. “There were times he skated right by them…special plays from a special player.

“From what we know, (Eichel’s) power numbers are extremely good. His vertical, again from what we know, would be the second-best among the Sabres…so there’s a powerful base. He still needs to work on strength and to get bigger, but what he generates is an enormous amount of power. The way he can accelerate, you don’t see someone do that every day.”

Report: Changes coming to compensation for executives

Dan Bylsma

When the Buffalo Sabres hired Dan Bylsma on Thursday one of the issues reportedly holding up the deal was compensation.

In the end, the Sabres agreed to send the Penguins a third-round selection at the 2016 NHL Draft because Bylsma was still under contract with Pittsburgh despite being fired last year.

Pittsburgh didn’t seek compensation however when New Jersey hired former Pens’ GM Ray Shero earlier this month.

Why not?

“The rule is not as clear as it should be,” Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said on Friday. “We felt that the intent of the rule was for employees that were still with the team, that were working with the team, not terminated employees.

“Once Edmonton (gave Boston) a pick for (former Bruins GM) Peter Chiarelli — when he was a terminated employee — we decided to ask for picks for future employees.”

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the NHL’s Board of Governors will look to clarify the compensation rule.

During his headlines segment on Saturday night, Friedman reported that if an executive is fired by the club, that team will not receive compensation when the individual is hired by another organization.

A team would only receive compensation for an individual still working for a team.

The NHL’s Board of Governors are scheduled to meet next month when the league heads to Las Vegas for the awards.

Sabres’ Kane (shoulder) ‘ahead of schedule’ with recovery

Evander Kane

The hiring of head coach Dan Bylsma wasn’t the only good news for Buffalo Sabres fans this week.

Evander Kane was in Buffalo on Thursday to have his surgically repaired left shoulder re-evaluated. According to Kane’s agent Craig Oster, the forward is ahead of schedule on the initial 4-6 month recovery timeframe.

“Evander had a follow (up) appointment in Buffalo and all are pleased with his progress,” Oster told PHT via email. “He is ahead of schedule on his recovery and the expectation is he will be completely healthy for the start of the Sabres’ season.”

Kane, who was dealt from the Jets to the Sabres on Feb. 11, underwent surgery on his shoulder on Feb. 7.

The 23-year-old had 10 goals and 22 points in 37 games for Winnipeg this season prior to the surgery.