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Stempniak re-signing with Phoenix

West Seneca native Lee Stempniak has reached a two-year agreement worth $3.5 million to remain with the Phoenix Coyotes. The winger will make $1.75 million in each of the next two seasons, according to the Arizona Republic. The deal is expected to be announced today.

Stempniak had been waiting to land a deal for two months as an unrestricted free agent but wound up in a crowded field of forwards looking for contracts. He expressed interest last month in playing for Buffalo, but there was very little, if any, serious discussions about the Sabres signing him. He ended up taking a 50 percent pay cut to stay with Phoenix.

The 27-year-old scored 14 goals and had 18 points in 18 games with the Coyotes, who acquired him at the trade deadline in a deal with Toronto. The former St. Francis and Buffalo Lightning star struggled with the Maple Leafs before becoming a key figure for the Desert Dogs down the stretch. Stempniak made $3.5 million last season.

He likely would have commanded much more in the open market after scoring 28 goals last season with Toronto and Phoenix, but teams across the league are either nudged against the cap or adhering to strict budgets. It has contributed to a massive logjam among forwards, many of whom still have not signed with training camps set to open in two weeks.

--- Bucky Gleason

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | jvogl@buffnews.com

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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