Tag: Carlo Colaiacovo

Zach Bogosian, Boone Jenner

Sabres’ biggest question: Defense


As much as the Buffalo Sabres have improved lately, it still seems like they’re going to struggle on defense.

Honestly, there are strong odds that they’ll struggle a lot.

You can trot out the simplest stats (Buffalo allowed a league-worst shots on goal average of 35.6 per game, two more than second-worst Toronto) or go a little deeper (the Sabres’ Fenwick Close was downright ghastly), but the bottom line is that Buffalo was atrocious on D. Their offensive firepower was meek in 2014-15, yet the Sabres’ work in their own end was the leading reason people described them as “historically inept.”

Just look at the dregs of NHL.com’s “SAT” stat and you’ll see just how much worse Buffalo was than the rest of the worst:

26. Columbus: -365
27. Toronto: -515
28. Calgary: -839
29. Colorado: -984
30. Buffalo: -1,789


GM Tim Murray made this team better in many ways – and certain facets should benefit Buffalo defensively – but the personnel is still lacking.

Even if Dan Byslma’s a big difference-maker, it’s difficult to imagine him working many miracles with some combination of Rasmus Ristolainen, Zach Bogosian (pictured), Josh Gorges, Mike Weber, Matt Donovan, Mark Pysyk, Jake McCabe and Carlo Colaiacovo.

(Seriously, take a step back and ponder that group for a moment.)

Look, players like Ristolainen could very well make significant strides in 2015-16. Buffalo is also likely to enjoy better two-way play from its forward group, as Ryan O’Reilly and David Legwand both possess some defensive chops. Again, Byslma’s systems could at least drag the Sabres closer to respectability, as well.

If you dial down the optimism to more reasonable levels, the Sabres are likely to put a ton of pressure on Robin Lehner and Chad Johnson next season, as that defense stands as a work in progress … at best.

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

Columbus Blue Jackets v Buffalo Sabres

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.

Sabres sign veteran d-man Colaiacovo


The Buffalo Sabres added a veteran presence to their blue line, signing Carlo Colaiacovo to a one-year contract. As per Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the deal is worth $900,000.

The 32-year-old Colaiacovo, who has a history of injuries throughout his career, now joins his fourth team in the last four seasons. He spent 2014-15 with the Philadelphia Flyers, scoring twice with eight points in 33 games.

The Sabres have also added another O’Reilly to their organization.

Yes, in addition to locking up Ryan O’Reilly with a long-term contract on Friday, the Sabres also signed veteran minor league forward Cal O’Reilly to a two-year contract.

Cal O’Reilly led the AHL Utica Comets in points in the regular season (61 points in 76 games) and in the playoffs (19 points, and only two goals, in 23 games).

Quick hits: Wild scratch Bergenheim, Pens’ Perron out sick

Ottawa Senators v Minnesota Wild

Quite a lot is happening this Saturday afternoon, so here’s an attempt to gather some of the smaller bits in one spot, whether you use this information for fantasy purposes or just general information:

  • The Minnesota Wild made trade deadline acquisition Sean Bergenheim a healthy scratch on Saturday, putting Ryan Carter in the lineup instead. In an odd quirk, Bergenheim (pictured) has the same paltry production as fellow scratch Devante Smith-Pelly: just one point in 15 games with his new team.
  • As much as the Pittsburgh Penguins are approaching full-strength, there are still setbacks. David Perron’s out sick today, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dave Molinari.
  • The Philadelphia Flyers are dealing with some flu issues that are sidelining defensemen Mark Streit and Carlo Colaiacovo. NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman shares their modified defensive pairings here.
  • Lubomir Visnovsky returns to the New York Islanders’ defensive lineup.

Video: Carcillo, Bellemare drop the gloves in a spirited scrap


From almost out of nowhere, Chicago Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo and Philadelphia Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare dropped the gloves early in the third period of the Flyers’ 4-1 win on Wednesday.

For the 30-year-old Bellemare, of France, that appears to be his first fight in the NHL, according to his profile on the league’s website. The fight happened during a stoppage in play, while both teams were making line changes. It’s believed the Flyers were unhappy with Carcillo, believing he embellished a high stick called against Philadelphia’s Carlo Colaiacovo earlier in the period.