Buffalo Sabres General Manager Tim Murray repeatedly told media that reaching the salary cap floor would not be an issue. Today, Murray put his money where his mouth is.
“I said earlier, it’s easy to spend money,” Murray told the media. “You just had no faith in Buffalo as a destination.”
Things started off quick for the Sabres on UFA Day, when Murray acquired defenseman Josh Gorges from the Montreal Canadiens.
“It happened very quickly,” Murray said. “Montreal approached me and said we had been put on Gorges list. He’s heart and sould. Plays to the most of his ability on every shift.”
The second move of the day would feature Buffalo’s first signing, and it came from a familiar place.
Montreal Canadiens captain, and Western New York native, Brian Gionta found himself signing a 3-year deal worth 12.75 million dollars.
Gionta was a target right out of the gate for Tim Murray, who was in search of character hockey players who can help mold this young team.
“That’s real stuff,” Tim Murray said, about Gionta’s Montreal captaincy. “That’s legendary stuff. And now he’s a Buffalo Sabre.”
Buffalo’s next move turned out to be their largest of the day, as the Sabres signed forward Matt Moulson to a 5-year deal worth 25 million dollars.
“Moulson is thrilled to be back,” Murray told the media. “We were his first choice, and this is the place he wanted to be.”
As you may recall, Moulson played 44 games for the Sabres last season before being traded to the Minnesota Wild in a deadline deal.
Also returning to the Sabres is forward Cody McCormick, who was traded to Minnesota in the aforementioned Moulson deal.
Tim Murray told the media that McCormick’s agent made one call this afternoon, and it was to him.
McCormick’s deal runs for 3-years and is worth 4.5 million dollars.
In what appears to be the final move of the day, defenseman Andrej Meszaros was signed to a one-year, 4 million dollar deal.
“He can become the player he used to be, the one I used to know him as,” said Murray. “He can be a part of the future or be dealt at the deadline, it is up to him.”
Following his excellent day in free agency, Tim Murray was very happy with what he accomplished. “These are the guys we wanted to go forward with, quickly, for what we wanted to achieve.”
Naturally, this is only the first day of Free Agency, so the question had to be asked whether the fans should expect more moves.
“I might have some more moves,” Murray said. “I know, but I’m not going to tell you.”
In other news, the Sabres re-signed one of their own this afternoon. Restricted free agent Marcus Foligno agreed to a two-year deal, worth 3.75 million dollars.