BUFFALO – The five new players the Sabres acquired Tuesday will make it harder for them to re-sign Steve Ott, the popular former captain they traded in February.
“I don’t know if he’s a possibility,” Sabres general manager Tim Murray said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “I talked to his agent last night after I talked to you guys. I explained to him with what we did yesterday, it would make it more difficult. But what we may do today may make it easier.
“In saying that, I just said, ‘There’s still interest. But I can’t certainly tell you not to pursue other things and look at other things.’”
Meanwhile, Murray said the Sabres could sign a couple of players for Rochester today or Thursday. After that, they’ll zero in on some NHL assistant coaches. Coach Ted Nolan has been interviewing candidates.
Murray also said he isn’t shopping the team’s young talent. Defenseman Tyler Myers’ name keeps popping up in trade rumors. Murray expects him to be on the team in 2014-15.
“That’s the nature of the game with good, young players,” Murray said. “Other teams want them. So they call and ask and you listen. You listen only because they may do something crazy. The intent, and I’ve said that all along, Tyler Myers creates a lot of dialogue. Teams call because of the type of player he is.”
In other news, the Sabres today introduced new winger Brian Gionta, who signed three-year, $12.75 million deal shortly after free agency opened Tuesday.
“We’re excited for the chance, myself and my family,” Gionta said. “It was a real good day for us yesterday. We like the direction Mr. Murray’s going with the team and, obviously, Mr. (Terry) Pegula. We’re confident that we can come here and be a part of something big.”
Update: Speaking on a conference call today, former Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff said he was “really, really surprised” when his agent told him Sunday the final seven seasons of his 10-year, $40 million contract were being bought out.
“I had honestly thought that they would probably trade me,” he said. “But there are no rules with the CBA and, with the penalty they could have received, it scared off Buffalo. They just decided to make the contract go away. It was a huge surprise to me.”
Ehrhoff signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.