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SABRES BOLSTER DEFENSE

Monday, 07.08.2013 / 9:38 AM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / BEYOND THE BOARDS
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BEYOND THE BOARDS
SABRES BOLSTER DEFENSE

The Buffalo Sabres added some depth to the defensive corps over the weekend and brought back some familiar names.

Saturday morning, Sabres general manager Darcy Regier announced that the team had agreed to terms with free agents Alexander Sulzer and Drew Bagnall. Sulzer has played 32 games over the past two seasons for the blue and gold. On Sunday, the Sabres traded for defenseman Henrik Tallinder, who is no stranger to Buffalo.

Tallinder

Tallinder returns to the Sabres following a three-season absence. He was drafted by the Sabres in 1997 and played 468 games over parts of eight seasons with the franchise. He signed a four-year contract with the New Jersey Devils in the summer of 2010 and over the past two seasons, he’s been limited to 64 games and 10 points.

Sabres general manager Darcy Regier sent forward Riley Boychuk to the Devils in order to reacquire the 34-year-old Tallinder.

During the 2009-10 season – his last the Sabres – Tallinder was paired almost exclusively with Tyler Myers. Myers went on to win the Calder Trophy that year as the NHL’s top rookie. Tallinder was also on Buffalo’s top pair with Toni Lydman during the team’s runs to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2006 and 2007.

“We are excited to have [Tallinder] back in the mix on our blue line,” Regier said in a statement Sunday. “His experience will be invaluable not only in adding more stability to our back end, but also in the development of some of our younger defensemen.”

Sulzer, 29, signed a one-year contract. His 2012-13 campaign was cut short when he suffered a knee injury on Feb. 23, causing him to miss the final 28 games of the season. Sulzer was acquired at the 2012 trade deadline from Vancouver as part of the deal that brought center Cody Hodgson to Buffalo.

Bagnall

Bagnall is a 6-foot-3, 222-pound defenseman that played 47 games for the Houston Aeros, the Minnesota Wild’s affiliate in the American Hockey League. He also served as the team’s captain last season. Bagnall signed a multi-year, two-way contract, so it’s likely he’ll be a big veteran presence for the Rochester Americans of the AHL this upcoming season.

As September’s training camp approaches, keep an eye on how the Sabres’ defensive depth chart shakes out.

Defensemen on the roster from last season include Myers, Christian Ehrhoff, Mike Weber and rookies Mark Pysyk and Chad Ruhwedel. Factor in Tallinder, Sulzer and Jamie McBain, who was acquired from Carolina at the 2013 NHL Draft, and that’s eight spots right there.

Brayden McNabb and Rasmus Ristolainen, Buffalo’s top pick in 2013, are also candidates to crack the roster come October.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82