In past years, a slew of former Buffalo Sabres had difficulty finding work in free agency.
With few suitors on the open market, some settled for training camp tryouts while others went overseas or never played again.
So far this offseason, seven players who spent time in Buffalo last season have quickly landed new NHL contracts. Here’s an update:
– Defenseman Mark Pysyk signed a one-year, $850,000 contract with the Detroit Red Wings.
Pysyk, 30, enjoyed regular duty much of last season, playing 68 games during his second stint in Buffalo. Still, younger talent pushed him out of the lineup in April, and the Sabres scratched him nine of the last 10 games.
– Goalie Dustin Tokarski signed a one-year, $775,000 contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Tokarski, 32, spent all of last season in the NHL for the first time in his 13-year career, playing 29 games.
Right now, he ranks third on Pittsburgh’s depth chart, so he could return to the minors.
– Winger Drake Caggiula signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Penguins worth $750,000 in the NHL and $400,000 in the AHL, according to capfriendly.com.
Ironically, Caggiula, 28, has never played in the minors during his six-year career.
He played 18 games last season before suffering a season-ending neck injury.
– Defenseman Colin Miller signed a two-year, $3.7 million deal with the Dallas Stars.
Miller, 29, battled injuries and ineffectiveness during his three-year run in Buffalo. He played just 38 games last season.
– Winger John Hayden signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Seattle Kraken worth $750,00 in the NHL and $325,000 in the AHL, according to capfriendly.com.
Hayden, 27, played 55 games last season, fighting a team-high six times.
His only stint in the minors was a 24-game run in 2017-18.
– Center Mark Jankowski signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Nashville Predators worth $750,000 in the NHL and $400,000 in the AHL, according to capfriendly.com.
Jankowski, 27, played 19 games last season after earning an NHL deal and promotion from the Rochester Americans in late November.
– Goalie Aaron Dell signed a one-year, two-way contract with San Jose Sharks worth $775,000 in the NHL and $350,000 in the AHL, according to capfriendly.com.
Dell, 33, was perhaps the NHL’s worst goalie last season, compiling a wretched 1-8-1 record in 12 games. He started all 10 games during Rochester’s playoff run.
He spent six years in San Jose’s organization earlier in his career.
Update: The Dallas Stars on Friday signed Butcher to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750,000 in the NHL and $300,000 in the AHL, according to capfriendly.com.