by Amy Moritz
Did you catch your breath yet? It was a crazy, busy day for the Buffalo Sabres who signed five players and added one via trade and at the end of the day GM Tim Murray was pretty pleased with all the action.
"We’re trying to rebuild an organization into a top organization," Murray said. "Today shows that we finished 30th place and there are quality players that want to come here. I’ve thought that all along, but you’re never sure until the clock hits 12. And there were more than what we got done. It wasn’t just these guys that want to come here. There were other choices. There still are, but these were the guys we thought we should go forward quickly with for what we wanted to achieve, and it happened in about 2 hours and 15 minutes."
The list is filled with veteran players, a key element for Murray as he looks for the younger players to mentored into good NHL players.
"We’re more competitive. We’ve got a lot of character now. We have leadership now. That’s important to me when you’re adding young players every year," Murray said.
Get a look at the Sabres' new faces in a PHOTO GALLERY that tracks their NHL careers over the past decade.
A look at the deals done:
Brian Gionta -- Signed to a three-year, $12.75 contract. The Rochester native was the second American-born player to be the captain of the Montreal Canadiens. The 12-year NHL veteran played the last five seasons in Montreal. Drafted by New Jersey in the third round of the 1998 draft, he played seven seasons with the Devils, including on the 2002-03 Stanley Cup-winning team.
Matt Moulson -- Signed to a five-year, $25 million contract. It's his second go-round with the Sabres, first arriving in Buffalo after an Oct. 27 trade with the New York Islanders. Moulson notched 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) in 44 games with the Sabres. He then was traded in March to the Minnesota Wild along with Cody McCormick in exchange for Torrey Mitchell and two draft picks
Cody McCormick -- Signed to a three-year, $4.5 million. He returns for his fifth season in Buffalo after finishing the 2013-14 season with 14 games as a member of the Minnesota. In his time with the Sabres, he played in 168 games. totaling 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) with 253 penalty minutes.
Andrej Meszaros -- Signed a one-year, $4.125 million contract. The nine-year NHL blueliner has played for Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia and Boston. He spent parts of four seasons with the Flyers before being dealt to Boston in March. With the Bruins, he registered five points (2 goals, 3 assists) in 12 regular-season games while adding two assists in four Stanley Cup playoff games.
Marcus Foligno -- Signed to a two-year, $3.75 contract. He has played in parts of four seasons with the Sabres since being a fourth-round draft pick of the organization in 2009. He had 19 points (7 goals, 12 assists) in 74 games this season.
Josh Gorges -- Acquired via trade with the Montreal Canadiens for a 2016 second-round draft pick (via Minnesota). A stay-at-home defenseman he has 98 points (14 goals, 84 assists) in 560 NHL games with Montreal and San Jose.