It was a busy night for Buffalo Sabres news. The Sabres had two players file for salary arbitration, signed two of their free agents and signed one unrestricted free agent.
The Sabres made their first splash in the unrestricted free agent market when the signed goaltender Jocelyn Thibault. Thibault appeared in 22 games with Pittsburgh last season and had a 2.83 Goals against. Those a pretty good numbers and he should be an adequate backup for Ryan Miller. Darcy Regier talked a little bit about Thibault.
"Jocelyn will bring veteran experience to our team," said Regier. "He had a strong finish to the season last year in Pittsburgh and we think he will be a great fit for the organization."
I would agree with Darcy's take on Thibault. I had an opportunity to watch a lot of Pittsburgh Penguins games and he played a bunch of games at the end of the season when Marc-Andre Fluery wasn't playing well.
The Sabres also signed two of their own free agents tonight by signing Andrew Peters to a two year contract and Michael Ryan to a one year contract. I think people are going to find out that the signing of Michael Ryan is going to be a big signing. Regier also had good things to say about these two guys.
On Andrew Peters signing
"Andrew has been the consummate team player over the past few seasons," Regier said. "He has committed himself to improving his conditioning and skills to further his development and add to his contributions to the team."
Peters played 58 games and had a goal and an assist. He also had 125 Penalty minutes, including a fight with goaltender Ray Emery of the Ottawa Senators.
On Michael Ryan signing
"Michael is a young player who is ready to play full-time at this level," said Regier. "He continues to develop and will be an important part of our club next season."
I am really excited to see him in the lineup full time. I thought he was going to sign with another team but Buffalo kept him.
In some less exciting news the Sabres had two players who filed for salary arbitration. Derek Roy and Nathan Paetsch both elected to file for arbitration. I would anticipate that Nathan Paetsch will get somewhere in the range of 750K/season but the possible award for Derek Roy is a concern. I think you could compare Roy to Nathan Horton of the Florida Panthers who recently signed a six year contract worth $24 million. Roy finished last season with (75GP-21G-42A-63P) and was a plus 37 while Horton finished (82GP-31G-31A-62P) and was a plus 15. I could see Roy getting $4-$4.5 million. The real question is what does that mean for the contract of Thomas Vanek?