By Mike Harrington
Who said the Sabres are going status quo tonight? Not anymore.
According to TSN The Sabres have now officially announced they've claimed forward Matt D’Agostini off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins. There's no word if D'Agostini would play tonight, but coach Ted Nolan was unusually late to his meeting with the media after today's pregame skate so there was certainly chatter something might be afoot.
The 6-foot, 198-pound D'Agostini will wear No. 27. He has one assist in eight games with the Penguins this season and is predominantly a right winger. He played parts of four seasons with tonight's opponent, the Montreal Canadiens, and had his best year for St. Louis in 2010-11 with a career-high 21 goals and 46 points. He was a sixth-round pick of the Habs in 2005.
D'Agostini signed a one-year, $550,000 contract with the Penguins in July but an unspecified injury and spotty play made it tough for him to stay in the lineup, as this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story from earlier this month explains.
In addition, D'Agostini apparently has a history with Nolan as he was an instructor at Nolan's hockey school in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., in 2008. This story from the Sudbury Star explains.
The Sabres have to make a roster move to accommodate him, and they are putting Corey Tropp on waivers with hopes of getting him back to Rochester. Tropp had one assist in nine games and was minus-8 this year. He was still playing with a full face shield after suffering a broken jaw in the leadup to the epic preseason brawl in Toronto.
It's certainly conceivable D'Agostini is here tonight to be in the lineup but we noticed that John Scott skated fully this morning and came off the ice with the game group. So he's clearly ready to go as well to play on the fourth line with Brian Flynn and Marcus Foligno if that's the team's need.