The Buffalo Sabres have taken a few steps of late to shore up the roster of the Rochester Americans – moves that were foreshadowed during the most recent season.
The acquisition of Matt Hackett from the Minnesota Wild was a sign of some sort of switch in goal for the organization. That was confirmed this past week when the Amerks announced plans not to re-sign 28-year-old veteran David Leggio, who was the team MVP this past season but has never earned an NHL call-up. The 23-year-old Hackett went 3-0-0 for the Amerks with a 1.62 GAA after the deadline day trade. He's also played 13 NHL games already, going 3-7-0, so he's shown he can perform at the top level in the event a vacancy emerges in the Ryan Miller saga.
The Amerks also let their leading scorer leave. Mark Mancari signed a one-year, two-way deal with the St. Louis Blues. The 27-year-old right wing had 22 goals and 39 assists last season. Blueliner Alex Biega and left winger Nick Tarnasky and also signed elsewhere – with the Vancouver Canucks and an undisclosed team, respectively.
About the only move made so far by the Sabres organizationally was a couple days ago. In a move General Manager Darcy Regier forecasted Tuesday, the club signed forward Matt Ellis to a two-year, two-way deal. The 31-year-old spent most of last season with the Amerks after playing the entire 2011-12 season in the NHL. He has 16 career NHL goals and 25 assists in 267 NHL games. He has seven goals and five assists in 32 AHL games last season.
Regier said this past week Ellis will captain the Amerks if he can't make the Sabres' roster:
"He's a guy we're looking to to provide some leadership down there."
The Sabres did make one new addition to the organization Friday, signing defenseman Drew Bagnall to a two-year, two-way contract. The 29-year-old was captain of the AHL's Houston Aeros last season and also appeared in two games for the Wild. He had one goal and five assists in 47 AHL games.Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, NHL