Although we are just a day into the free agent frenzy, Tim Murray and the Buffalo Sabres made many moves that will benefit the team going forward. The Sabres were forced to spend money, to get to the 51 million dollar cap floor, and Tim Murray did just that. The Buffalo Sabres were the winners on the first day of free agency.
The first move GM Tim Murray made caught most hockey fans off guard. The Sabres acquired a heart and soul defenseman in Josh Gorges, giving up a second round pick in 2016. Gorges carries a cap hit of 3.9 million and will be a great leader for the young defenseman. Great trade by Tim Murray.
Shortly after trading for Gorges, the Sabres signed former Canadians captain Brian Gionta to a three year deal. Gionta, a Rochester native, will earn just over 4 million dollars annually. Gionta recorded 18 goals and 40 points last season, and again will be a great leader in the locker room. Tim Murray said he wanted to add veterans that will help players like Mikhail Grigorenko, Joel Armia, and Samson Reinhart to develop into true professionals, on and off the ice. Gionta fits this role perfectly, and will be a great addition to a young, rebuilding team.
The Sabres next move did not come as a surprise, as the Sabres brought back scorer Matt Moulson on a 5 year deal worth 25 million. Molson is a 30 goal scorer, and to get him at 5 million per year is a steal for Tim Murray. It is scary thinking how good Sam Reinhart and Matt Moulson could be playing together.
Shortly after, the Sabres brought back another familiar face, signing enforcer Cody McCormick to a three year deal. McCormick has had troubles staying healthy over the course of his career, but when healthy is one of the most feared fighters in the league. This was a good signing by Tim Murray.
The final move that the Sabres made on the first day of free agency was inking defenseman Andrej Meszaros to a 1 year deal worth 4 million dollars. Meszaros is coming off an injury plagued season. Over the course of his career, Meszaros has been an offensive defenseman who brings some physicality to his game. This was a good move by Murray because he has the option to dump Meszaros at the deadline, or re-sign him if he wished to do so.
Overall, this was a great day for the Buffalo Sabres. They brought in the right players to help with the rebuild. The only negative on the day was that the Sabres probably decreased their chances at landing Connor McDavid. It is yet to be seen whether Tim Murray will continue to be active in free agency. Although the offseason is just beginning, it’s hard not to be impressed with the job Tim Murray has done so far.
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