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Sabres claim Konopka off waivers from Wild

Jan 3, 2014, 12:17 PM EDT

ZenonKonopka Getty Images

Zenon Konopka is on his way to Buffalo.

The veteran tough guy — put on waivers yesterday by Minnesota — has been claimed by the Sabres, according to the Wild. The pickup comes just a month after Buffalo added another NHL vet via waivers, claiming Matt D’Agostini from Pittsburgh.

Konopka, 33, has two points and 55 penalty minutes in 36 games this season. Something of a late bloomer — he didn’t establish himself in the NHL until he was 29 years old — Konopka has carved a niche as a tough guy and willing fighter, but also one that excels in faceoffs (boasting a 65.7 winning percentage this year.)

He’s in the last of a two-year, $1.85 million contract and carries a $925,000 cap hit. He’ll join an already feisty Sabres team that includes the likes of Cody McCormick (leads the team with seven fights, but is out 4-6 weeks), Marcus Foligno (five fights), Steve Ott (three) and noted heavyweight John Scott.

  1. ironyisadeadscene - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    ahhhh yes, let the winning begin….

  2. greej1938l - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:32 PM


  3. strictlythedanks - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    Take heatley while your at it

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Jan 3, 2014 at 6:09 PM

      Nobody wants Heatley’s $7.5 million contract, unless of course it’s 2005

  4. cofran2004 - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Shocking that the sabres would claim a big body thats good at collecting penalty minutes and not much else. They’ve never had one of those on their squad.

    • cofran2004 - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      Also, let it known that if anyone throws Scott or Kaletta out there as if I didn’t know about them, please re-read my original comment and not the massive amount of sarcasm woven into every word. Thanks…

      • ibieiniid - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:45 PM

        they really need to add a sarcasm toggle on these keyboards.

      • cofran2004 - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:58 PM

        Or an edit key. I seem to be having issues typing.

  5. ibieiniid - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    the Sabres remind me of this guy in my fantasy league. hangs out on the waiver wire waiting for somebody to make a mistake. nobody ever makes one. he’s in last place.

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 3, 2014 at 2:03 PM

      I guess at this point, everyone knows it’s a lost season and they’re not going to be able to address the fact that they are going to get pushed around on the scoreboard most nights – adding another guy who is good in the room, good in the trenches (I don’t mean in a playing hockey way) and stands up for his teammates under all circumstances (remember when he threatened to take the Mario Lemieux poster off his bedroom door?) is one way to make sure that team doesn’t get too far down the rabbit hole.

      The Sabres are in a tough spot and need to ensure that hopelessness, laziness and other bad habits don’t sneak into their young players games. Konopka’s not going to help them on the ice but he might help them at least hold their heads up a little higher every now and then.

      I wouldn’t take him on my team though.

      • thesportsjudge - Jan 4, 2014 at 12:15 PM

        Isn’t that the job of a real captain…oh wait, never mind.

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 6, 2014 at 11:27 AM

        Maybe, but I think people overrate the ‘C’.

        Particularly on a team like Buffalo where they started the year with two captains who were widely speculated to be on their way out after the season (if not earlier) – leadership has to come for more than just the guy with a letter stitched on his jersey.

        And anyway what I’m describing isn’t even really “leadership” in the way people expect from a team captain.. Konopka’s not going to inspire the team to lift themselves up by their bootstraps and outwork the opposition each and every night, he is simply a “glue guy” in that he’s going to be one of those role players whose job it is to try to make things a little less miserable in the locker room and out on the ice.

  6. cofran2004 - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    not=note. sigh…. clumsy fingers. and there should be a “be” in there. I r teh stoopid.

  7. mp1131211 - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    That’s just weird….

  8. mp1131211 - Jan 3, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    I am now seriously perplexed by this whole Konopka move. What could Konopka possibly offer the Sabres? Did they just want a souvenir from their vacation to Minneapolis or something?

  9. mp1131211 - Jan 3, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    Who knew? The guy has his own wine

  10. bullwinkle88 - Jan 3, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    Is this April 1st?

  11. canuckinamerica - Jan 3, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    Basically bringing a “home town boy” to Buffalo as he is from the Niagara region of Canada. Not much of a player but good in the locker room, stands up for his mates and is a quality faceoff man. That would have helped if they were playoff bound, but had to throw it in regardless.

  12. muckleflugga - Jan 3, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    okay girls…out with it…i need to know

    how do you know if someone is good in the room…how do you know if someone is a cancer in the room [ cliché meter going redline ]…have you ever been in a room…?

    of the countless rooms i’ve been in, i can’t remember anyone lasting longer than two minutes if proven anything but a four square hockey dude…

    i can remember a few removals…quick…surgical in room yard sale outside room…equipment draped everywhere

    miracle cure

  13. canuckinamerica - Jan 3, 2014 at 3:06 PM


    A friend of mine coached Z in Syracuse in the AHL… HE would know and also knows the importance of team members speaking up when necessary as well as providing guidance, help and even tough love, when needed, to other players, especially the younger ones.

  14. muckleflugga - Jan 3, 2014 at 7:52 PM


    no argument from me…i just want to know how everyone is able to divine locker room drama without being in said locker room when the curtain rises…?

  15. vstar1us - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    Thank you Buffalo

  16. vstar1us - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    Thank you

    I am a Wild Fan

  17. terrier92 - Jan 4, 2014 at 7:03 AM

    Buffalo is trying to build a team. You start by bringing in quality guys. OK the kid aint gonna score 50 but he will not hurt you on fourth line.

    If you are interested in seeing how teams are built check Boston Bruins transactions over past 5 years. That team has been reconfigured at least 3 times. Only core guys David K, Milan, Z , and Patrice remain. Interestingly Thornton is the other core guy. Fourth line quality guy.

  18. dirte42 - Jan 4, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    I think maybe they’re bringing him in to dump Scott. Same type of player but with more upside

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