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Sabres Acquire Butcher, Sign Malone & Davidson

The Buffalo Sabres have acquired defenseman Will Butcher and signed defenseman Brandon Davidson and forward Sean Malone, the team announced on Wednesday evening.

Butcher, 26, comes to Buffalo after four seasons with the New Jersey Devils. Originally a 2013 draft pick of the Colorado Avalanche, the Wisconsin native has appeared in 243 NHL games and recorded 110 points. The former University of Denver blueliner will earn $3,733,333 this season, the final year of his current contract, but according to Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News, the Devils will retain $1 million of his salary.

The Sabres also got a fifth-round draft pick in the 2022 NHL Draft in the deal. The Devils received “future considerations,” making this a pure salary cap dump to make room for Dougie Hamilton. It’s a decent deal for both sides, giving New Jersey space and Buffalo another defenseman.

Buffalo has also signed defenseman Brandon Davidson to a one-year deal worth $750,000.

Davidson, 29, appeared in six NHL games with the Sabres last season and played two games with the Rochester Americans. Originally a 2010 draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers, Davidson has played with a number of NHL organizations over the years – from Edmonton to Montreal, New York, Chicago, Calgary and San Jose.

Finally, the Sabres are also bringing back forward Sean Malone. A Buffalo native, the 26-year-old previously played with the Sabres organization from 2016-2020. He spent last season with the Nashville Predators organization, but nearly all of his professional career has been in the AHL. The former Harvard center was selected by the Sabres with the 159th overall pick in 2013.

Both Malone and Butcher have previously played under head coach Don Granato.