This afternoon, the Buffalo Sabres announced that they had reached a two-year agreement with AHL journeyman netminder, Dustin Tokarski. The deal carries an average annual value of $725,000.
As a two-time Calder Cup winner (with the Norfolk Admirals in 2012, and the Charlotte Checkers in 2019), the 31-year-old should compete with Jonas Johansson for rotational time behind Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen in Rochester. In his 11-year career, he’s dressed in 361 regular season contests at the AHL level, posting a save-percentage of .912 in that span. He’s also played for a whopping eight different organizations.
While many Sabres fans expected the team to address the goaltender position, another platoon body for the Amerks isn’t exactly what they had in mind. With Luukkonen set to begin his first full season with Rochester, and incumbent co-starter Johansson (who played very well for them last season) set to return, adding another body is a little odd.
This move would give the Sabres plenty of flexibility to call-up one of their AHL netminders if Carter Hutton’s vision issues aren’t fully resolved for the 2020-21 campaign. Otherwise, this is strictly a minor league move.
Tokarski’s last NHL action came in 2016-17 where he dressed in one game (10 minutes of total ice time) for the Anaheim Ducks. In 34 career NHL games between the Ducks, Montreal Canadiens, and Tampa Bay Lightning, he posted a record of 10-12-5 with a .904 save-percentage.