The Buffalo Sabres on Monday signed goalie Michael Houser, who has spent all season with the Rochester Americans, to an NHL contract and placed him on waivers.
This is the third straight year the Sabres have awarded Houser, 30, an NHL deal during the season. Each time, he had been playing on an AHL contract.
His new contract is worth a prorated $750,000 in the NHL and $100,000 in the minors, according to capfriendly.com.
Last season, as injuries and illness ravaged the Sabres, they signed Houser in January. He went into COVID-19 protocol after playing two games. Two years ago, they utilized him on their taxi squad the latter half of the campaign. When they ran out of goalies, he started the final four games of the season, his first NHL appearances.
It’s unclear why the Sabres signed Houser now. They have three goalies on the NHL roster: Craig Anderson, Eric Comrie and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. In Rochester, Houser has been backing up Malcolm Subban, who has NHL experience and a two-way contract.
Giving Houser an NHL contract, of course, increases their depth. If he clears waivers, he will almost certainly stay with Rochester.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Houser has compiled a 6-5-1 record with a 2.95 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage in 14 games with the Amerks this season. In his NHL career, he has compiled a 4-2-0 mark with a 2.95 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage.