In the news surrounding the draft and the acquisition of Robyn Regehr and the return of Ales Kotalik some of Darcy Regier’s other work has been lost. Buffalo’s General Manager was busy in the time he was waiting for Robyn Regehr’s decision to come to Buffalo. He took steps to secure some of the Sabres’ young talent.
He started by signing minor league goaltender David Leggio to a 1 year 2-way contract worth $525,000. Leggio’s first year back in North America was a good one. He served as the backup for half the season. Once Jhonas Enroth was called up Leggio became the starter and helped the Portland Pirate make an impressive playoff run.
The Williamsville, NY native posted 22 wins, a .911 save % and a 2.80 GAA in 36 regular season games. Leggio is expected to start in Rochester next year. A backup goaltender has yet to be signed.
The Sabres have also started working to resign some of their top restricted free agents. Drew Stafford was locked up before the draft and Chris Butler has been traded away. The Sabres have now extended qualifying offers to Nathan Gerbe, Jhonas Enroth, Marc-Andre Gragnani, Mike Weber and Andrej Sekera. No mention was made of Travis Turnbull, Dennis Persson and Dennis McCauley in the press conference but many assume they have also received qualifying offers.
If these players except their offers they will receive contracts similar to the ones the have now for one year with a small raise. Most of these players will hold out until they can negotiate a new contract. This allows for the Sabres to receive compensation if these players are signed to offer sheets. All but Enroth, Turnbull, Persson and McCauley are eligible for arbitration. Felix Schutz has not been tendered and will head to unrestricted free agency.
Mark Mancari, Mike Grier, Rob Niedermayer and Steve Montador will be allowed to freely enter the free agent pool. Negotiations with Tim Connolly and Cody McCormick are expected to continue. Mark Parrish, Colin Stuart, Matt Ellis, Tim Conboy, Derek Whitmore and Patrick Lalime will also be allowed to walk.
In other news the Portland Pirates have moved on after the Sabres announced the purchase of the Rochester Americans. The Pirates have announced that they will be the AHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes next season. This confirms what most already knew, that the Sabres’ farm was moving back to Rochester next year.