One of the key pieces Buffalo acquired in the Ryan Miller-Steve Ott trade is doubtful to play again this season.
Chris Stewart, who suffered an ankle injury last week against Tampa Bay, will likely miss the remainder of the year with the ailment, according to Sabres head coach Ted Nolan.
“Stewart doesn’t look good right now,” Nolan said, per the Buffalo News. “There are only five weeks left in the year and his injury is four-to-five weeks.”
Stewart, 26, appeared in just two games for the Sabres after coming over from St. Louis in a pre-deadline blockbuster. While the other key acquisition in the deal, Jaroslav Halak, has since been flipped to Washington, the Sabres held onto Stewart, who has one year remaining on his deal (with a $4.15 million cap hit) and could be a good fit for the club moving forward.
The book on Stewart is a familiar one. He’s a big-bodied power forward (6-foot-2, 231 pounds) that’s displayed a nose for goal in the past, but has seen his effort and consistency called into question on numerous occasions. It’s the same knock many physical forwards get — think Dustin Penner, Bryan Bickell, Todd Beruzzi — though with Stewart, the fact he’s only 26 is key.
Nolan has shown an ability to motivate players in the past, and could light a fire under Stewart — remember, this is a guy that scored 56 goals between 2009-11, so the talent is definitely there.