May 21, 2012, 2:21 PM EDT
The free agent defenseman market thinned out this morning when Jamie McBain re-upped with Carolina.
This afternoon, it thinned out some more.
That’s because the Buffalo Sabres locked up Alexander Sulzer to a one-year deal worth $725,000. Sulzer, 27, was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 — and despite his struggles to crack the NHL level during his first five years in North America, it’s likely he would’ve garnered interested on the open market.
Why? Well, after coming over from Vancouver in the Cody Hodgson-Zack Kassian trade at the deadline, Sulzer flourished on a Buffalo blueline decimated by injury. He had 3G-5A-8PTS in 15 games with a plus-2 rating, and the Sabres went 10-3-2 with him in the lineup.
What this means for Buffalo’s defense moving forward remains to be seen. As John Vogl of the Buffalo News reports, the Sabres now have eight defensemen under contract for next season: Tyler Myers, Robyn Regehr, Christian Ehrhoff, Jordan Leopold, Andrej Sekera, Mike Weber, Brayden McNabb and Sulzer.
- Report: Leiweke to head up Olympic bid in Los Angeles 11
- In praise of John Tavares 14
- It’s New York Islanders Day at PHT 26
- McDavid on teams possibly tanking for him: ‘It’s pretty crazy’ 19
- Fanspeak: Lemieux (stunner!) voted greatest Penguin in franchise history 39
- Under Pressure: Mike Johnston 17
- It’s Pittsburgh Penguins Day at PHT 33
- Captain no more: Sharks strip Thornton of ‘C’ 47
- Tank defense: NHL changes up Draft Lottery format 55
- Fanspeak: Clarke voted greatest Flyer in franchise history 40