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SABRES ADD DEPTH AT FORWARD

Buffalo signs free agents Michael Ryan and Paul Szczechura to one-year deals

Tuesday, 08.09.2011 / 3:55 PM / Features
By Kevin Snow  - Sabres.com (@kwsnow)
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SABRES ADD DEPTH AT FORWARD
The Buffalo Sabres added something old and something new today with the signings of free agent forwards Michael Ryan and Paul Szczechura to a pair of one-year deals.

Ryan
Buffalo fans will remember Ryan from his five seasons with the Sabres organization from 2003-07, including parts of four campaigns with the AHL’s Rochester Americans. Ryan finished with 122 points (56+66) in 210 career games with the Amerks, while scoring a career-high 28 goals in 50 games during the 2006-07 season. Ryan also had 13 points (7+6) in 65 games with the Sabres, and played in a career-best 46 NHL games in 2007-08.

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In addition to his four seasons with the Americans, Ryan has appeared in 101 AHL games with Albany, Springfield and Adirondack. He has compiled 208 total points (108+100) in 311 career AHL games, including three seasons of 25 or more goals.
 
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The 31-year-old Ryan signed as a free agent with Carolina on October 31, 2008, and appeared in 18 games with the Hurricanes during the 2008-09 season. For his career, Ryan has 15 points (7+8) in 83 career NHL games with Buffalo (65) and Carolina (18).

Ryan scored his first two career NHL goals in an 8-5 Buffalo win over Montreal on March 2, 2007. Ryan was named the game’s first star while playing on a line with Adam Mair and Dainius Zubrus, who was playing in his first game with the Sabres after coming over in a trade from Washington.

Ryan, who played four years at Northeastern University, was acquired by the Sabres along with a second-round choice (Branislav Fabry) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft on March, 10, 2003 in the trade that sent Stu Barnes to Dallas. Ryan was originally drafted in the second round (32nd overall) of the 1999 Entry Draft.

Szczechura
Szczechura (pronounced sha-HUR-uh) collected 16 points (9+7) in 83 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning during parts of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. He spent last season with Norfolk (AHL), scoring 52 points in 79 games with the Admirals. The 25-year-old has totaled 148 points (62+86) in 214 career AHL games with Norfolk and Iowa.

A native of Brantford, Ont., Szczechura played four seasons at Western Michigan University from 2003-07. In 153 games with the Broncos, Szczechura scored 44 goals and 86 assists.

Szczechura signed as a free agent with the Lightning on April 24, 2008, and made his NHL debut against Philadelphia on December 2, 2008. Szczechura scored his first career NHL goal less than a week later against Boston’s Tim Thomas during a 5-3 loss to the Bruins.

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