The Buffalo Sabres announced on Saturday morning that the organization has suspended forward Patrik Berglund indefinitely for failure to report to the team. The Sabres said they will have no further comment on the suspension at this time.
This announcement comes after the 30-year-old forward missed the previous two games due what coach Phil Housley had called an illness. The Sabres are set to play the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals on Saturday evening and are looking to win their third game in a row.
“From my knowledge talking to the medical staff, he was ill, so we handled it that way,” Housley said. “Obviously it developed into something different, and [GM Jason Botterill] and the management are handling that.”
Berglund was one of the players acquired by the Sabres over the summer in the blockbuster Ryan O'Reilly trade with the St. Louis Blues.
In 23 games with the Sabres this season he has two goals, two assists, is a minus-five, and had been averaging around 14 minutes of ice-time per game. Before he missed the previous two games he had been stuck in a 10-game point drought. The last time he found the scoresheet was the Sabres’ win over the Ottawa Senators back on November 3 when he scored a goal and recorded an assist.
He scored 17 goals and nine assists in 57 games for the Blues a season ago.
Berglund is in the second year of a five-year, $19.250 million contract that carries a salary cap hit of $3.85 million per season and includes a modified no-trade clause.
The Sabres have been one of the NHL’s biggest surprise teams this season with a 19-9-4 record entering play on Saturday, good enough for third place in the Atlantic Division and a 10-point cushion over the non-playoff teams in the Eastern Conference. This is all happening after they finished the 2017-18 season with the worst record in the league for the third time in five seasons. Along with Berglund, the Sabres also acquired Tage Thompson and Vladimir Sobotka in the O’Reilly trade, while also adding Jeff Skinner, Conor Sheary, and Carter Hutton and selecting defenseman Rasmus Dahlin with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Their 42 points on the season are currently tied for the fourth most in the league.
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Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.