The Buffalo Sabres have suspended newcomer Patrik Berglund indefinitely for failure to report to the team.
Berglund, 30, missed two games and wasn’t seen around the team this week. Sabres coach Phil Housley said then the forward had the flu.
“From my knowledge, talking to the medical staff, he was ill,” Housley told reporters prior to tonight’s road tilt against the Washington Capitals. “So we handled it that way. Obviously, it developed it into something different.”
Housley said general manager Jason Botterill and the team’s management staff are handling the matter. The Sabres announced the suspension in a short press release Saturday morning.
Berglund, an offseason acquisition from the St. Louis, seemed to acclimate to his new team quickly after 10 seasons with the Blues.
“It was no problem for me to move on,” Berglund said in September.
During the preseason, Sabres captain Jack Eichel called Berglund “The Godfather.” The Swede then started the season as the Sabres’ No. 2 center.
But Berglund struggled from the get-go, becoming a healthy scratch after six games. He also battled an injury, skated on the fourth line and was benched again.
When asked about Berglund not being “all in” with the rest of his teammates, Housley said, “We’re going to focus on the guys in that locker room.”
In 23 games, Berglund has mustered two goals, four assists and a minus-5 rating.
“I like his physicality and what he brings in the faceoff circle,” Housley said Tuesday. “I think there’s still a scoring touch there. We haven’t seen it enough. He’s been playing in all situations, whether it’s the PK, he’s been on the power play, he’s been put in late-game situations.”
Berglund has a base salary of $4.7 million this season and a $3.850 salary cap hit. He has three years and $9.85 million left on his deal after this season.
Hunwick, 33,will take warm-ups tonight but will sit out. Housley there is a “possibility” he could play in Sunday’s road tilt against the Boston Bruins.
A neck injury had sidelined Hunwick all season.
Housley said Hunwick’s AHL assignment went “really well.”