Free agency time

Archive:
Rochester Americans

Ryan O'Reilly's contract kicks in for 2016-17. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – That didn’t take long. A week after the Sabres acquired Ryan O’Reilly in a blockbuster trade with the Colorado Avalanche, they locked up their new No. 1 center with a max deal Friday, a whopping seven-year, $52.5 million contract extension.

It’s the biggest contract in franchise history, surpassing the seven-year, $50 million deal the Sabres gave winger Thomas Vanek in 2007 when they matched the Edmonton Oilers’ offer sheet.

The contract has a creative breakdown. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, …

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Matt Donovan sat out 70 games last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Growing up in Oklahoma, Matt Donovan never thought about playing in the NHL, a league far away from Edmond, the Oklahoma City suburb he grew up in. Besides, no one from the Sooner State had ever cracked hockey’s best league.

“Being in Oklahoma, no kid really had that dream,” said Donovan, a defenseman who signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Sabres on Wednesday.

But Donovan was drawn to the game. His father, Larry, a Boston native, operated Blazers Ice …

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Bobby Sanguinetti has played 45 NHL games. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres added more defense depth in free agency today, signing Bobby Sanguinetti to a one-year, two-way contract.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Sanguinetti spent all of last season with the Utica Comets, scoring 16 goals and 40 points in 61 games. He also led all AHL defensemen in playoff scoring with three goals and 14 points in 23 contests.

The 27-year-old, the 21st overall pick by the New York Rangers in 2006, has 50 goals and 210 points in 338 AHL …

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Matt Donovan sat out regularly last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Tim Murray has spoken about the need for the Rochester Americans to improve following an awful season. The general manager left no doubt he was serious Wednesday, signing two notable AHL players to two-way deals – defenseman Matt Donovan and winger Jason Akeson – for the Sabres’ top affiliate.

“I think they bring depth,” Murray said inside the First Niagara Center.

Otherwise, the Sabres stayed quiet on the first day of free agency. Murray’s still searching for the left-handed shot …

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Cal O'Reilly spent last season in Utica. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – The Sabres have signed an O’Reilly. It’s probably not the one you’re thinking of, however.

The team inked center Cal O’Reilly, Ryan O’Reilly’s older brother, to a two-year, one-way deal worth $700,000 per season this afternoon, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Update: Sabres general manager Tim Murray said this afternoon the Sabres have not signed O’Reilly. The two sides have talked. Murray said Sabres have signed winger Jason Akeson.

Cal O’Reilly, an AHL star, has 13 goals and 41 points in …

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Andrej Sekera might get snatched up early in free agency. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – For a rebuilding team fresh off two consecutive 30th-place finishes, the Sabres’ shopping list entering free agency, which opens today at noon, is relatively small. A weekend of wheeling and dealing at the NHL Draft pretty much set the roster for the upcoming season.

The Sabres have two goalies, four forward lines and almost a full defense corps. Not bad for a team that finished 2014-15 using a patchwork lineup filled with AHL players.

General manager Tim Murray’s main target …

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Ryan O'Reilly spent six seasons in Colorado. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly’s ready to tackle a new challenge. During his first six NHL seasons, the 24-year-old wasn’t viewed as one of the Avalanche’s leaders. Colorado stars Matt Duchesne, Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon often overshadowed him.

But O’Reilly, acquired in a blockbuster deal Friday at the NHL Draft, will have a new role next season. The Sabres want him to be one of the guys to shepherd a team filled with youngsters.

“I think it’s going to be …

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Tim Murray talks to the media Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
4

SUNRISE, Fla. – Tim Murray isn’t one for reflection. The gruff Buffalo Sabres general manager usually focuses on one task before quickly moving to the next one.

But at some point today, after an arduous NHL Draft weekend in which he added major assets, Murray will hop on a plane home to Buffalo and feel a sense of satisfaction.

Murray enjoyed arguably the best two days of any GM by drafting future cornerstone Jack Eichel second overall, acquiring coveted center Ryan O’Reilly …

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Zemgus Girgensons could have a long career with the Sabres. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

SUNRISE, Fla. – How good have the Buffalo Sabres drafted in recent years? Judge for yourself below.

Since most drafts don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at the Sabres’ selections from 2007-12 and some notable hits and misses. Sixteen of Buffalo’s 45 draft choices over that time – 36 percent – have made the NHL.

The Sabres have eight picks at this weekend’s NHL Draft, including the No. 2 selection, which they will use to select mega-prospect …

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Sabres general manager Tim Murray is offering Mikhail Grigorenko a two-way contract. ©2015, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
9

BUFFALO – General manager Tim Murray knows 21-year-old center Mikhail Grigorenko is frustrated the Sabres are offering a two-way contract. The restricted free agent dislikes the deal so much he’s reportedly fielding offers from the KHL, a league in his native Russia.

“I hear rumors,” Murray said Thursday during a news conference inside the First Niagara Center to discuss next week’s NHL Draft.

Clearly, the Sabres and Grigorenko’s camp have vastly different opinions of the youngster, the No. 12 pick in 2012.

“We …

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