Meet The Newest Sabre: Nick Tarnasky
Nick Tarnasky wasn't signed to try and crack the Sabres roster come September, but the signing does give the Rochester Americans some added depth in the forward ranks.
The newest player the Sabres signed was drafted in the 9th round of the 2003 NHL Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning and has played in five seasons for three different NHL teams. With Tampa Bay, Tarnasky played a total of 169 games from 2005-2008 and scored 11 goals and 20 points. He was traded to the Nashville Predators in the summer of 2008. In Nashville, he played a total of 11 games before he was shipped to Florida for Wade Belak. He played 65 games over a season and a half for Florida with two goals and nine points.
Tarnasky hasn't played in the NHL since the 2009-10 season and hasn't played in North America since the 2010-11 season. He played last season in the KHL for Vityaz Chekov and appeared in 36 games for the club. For Vityaz, Tarnasky scored 12 points and racked up 173 penalty minutes. He also isn't a stranger to playing in Rochester. When the Americans were affiliated with the Panthers, Tarnasky played in five games with the team during a rehabilitation stint with the club and scored three goals in those games.
Tarnasky isn't known for his scoring though, but more his physicality. During his 245 career NHL games, Tarnasky racked up 297 penalty minutes and his Hockey Fights fight card lists a total of 114 fights over 11 seasons. Here is a showcase of his fighting skills with a 2006 fight against Chris Gratton.
Tarnaksy probably isn't going to light the scoresheet up for the Americans, but he will be the protection that some of the star players are going to need on the ice.