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Maple Leafs put themselves in prime position to make a splash

By John Vogl

So what are the big-money, big-market Maple Leafs doing near the bottom of the NHL's salary cap list? Giving themselves plenty of room to get to the top.

Toronto is buying out winger Mikhail Grabovski, who had four years and $21.5 million left on a five-year, $27.5 million deal he signed just last year. It is the second of two available compliance buyouts for the Leafs.

The move puts the Maple Leafs' payroll 29th in the 30-team NHL, according to CapGeek.com, ahead of only the New York Islanders. Toronto has $40 million committed to 12 players, according to CapGeek, which leaves it with about $24.3 million to spend on 11 players when free agency opens at noon Friday.

The Leafs have an uphill job of re-signing players, though. Tyler Bozak is an unrestricted free agent, while Nazem Kadri, Cody Franson and Jonathan Bernier are restricted.

Sabres don't expect to make big splash in free agency; Grigorenko will spend all next season in Buffalo

By John Vogl

The Sabres have tried to make a big splash in free agency since Terry Pegula took over the team. It appears that trend will change.

General Manager Darcy Regier said today that Buffalo's prime targets in free agency, which opens Friday, will be players who can complement the current roster rather than headline it.

"The focus is going to be on supporting this younger group, this younger core group," Regier said in First Niagara Center. "Certainly, you want good players, but you want players who are committed to being professionals, being examples, being contributors. Those are the most important characteristics and the most important things we can do organizationally to make sure we progress in the direction we need to go."

Regier said the trade market has begun to form as the NHL heads toward its shopping season, and Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller remain available.

"I’m actively finding out what the marketplace is like, not limited to those two players," Regier said. "There will be a number of teams we’ll speak to regarding not just the goaltending position but other positions, as well."

In other news:

Continue reading "Sabres don't expect to make big splash in free agency; Grigorenko will spend all next season in Buffalo" »

Sabres sign Providence center Schaller, according to Friars teammates

By John Vogl

The Sabres have been looking to add centers during the past year, and it appears they've added another.

The team has signed college free agent Tim Schaller, according to congratulatory tweets sent by several Providence teammates. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder senior was named Best Defensive Forward in Hockey East Association this season.

Schaller, 22, had eight goals and 23 points in 38 games for the Friars. He won 56 percent of his faceoffs and served as an alternate captain.

Schaller has participated in development camps for the Calgary Flames and Chicago Blackhawks. It's expected he will report to the Rochester Americans for the remainder of this season. The Sabres have not announced the signing.

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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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