By Mike Harrington
Cross another restricted free agent off the Buffalo Sabres' to-do list as the team announced today that defenseman Chad Ruhwedel has signed a two-year contract. Terms were not disclosed.
Ruhwedel, 24, helped Massachusetts-Lowell to a Cinderella run to the NCAA Frozen Four in Pittsburgh in 2013 and then elected to leave school when the Sabres offered him a max salary contract ($925,000) and a guaranteed NHL roster spot for the final seven games of that season.
Ruhwedel played 21 games for Buffalo last season, collecting one assist, and had four goals and 24 assists in 47 games for Rochester. His 28 points were ranked second among Amerks defensemen and his five points in the playoff series against Texas (2g, 3a) were second on the Rochester team.
He has an interesting background in hockey as a San Diego native, as my story from 2013 documents.
The last major unsigned player on the Sabres' roster is center Tyler Ennis, who is coming off a 21-goal, 43-point season that saw him make $3,062,500. Ennis is likely looking for a long-term deal in the neighborhood of the six-year, $25.5 million contract Cody Hodgson got last summer, although there's been plenty of rumblings that GM Tim Murray doesn't think much of the deal Hodgson got from Darcy Regier and won't be as loose with Ennis.
The Sabres also gave a qualifying offer to Luke Adam and have yet to sign him, although it seems far-fetched to think he would figure much in their plans at the NHL level.
UPDATE: Ruhwedel just tweeted the following....
I'm very excited and thankful to be a part of the @BuffaloSabres for another 2 years!— Chad Ruhwedel (@chad5ruhwedel) July 16, 2014