Sabres GM Jason Botterill hasn’t been hiding the fact that he is looking for forward help. However, it’s not just the trade market that he’s scouring as Botterill also indicated to reporters, including John Vogl of The Athletic (Twitter link) that they have also considered adding a free agent although they haven’t pulled the trigger on that just yet. Veterans Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville each have a history in Buffalo and have been skating with the hopes of landing another NHL contract.
The team has been hit hard on the injury front when it comes to their forward group but they’re pretty healthy on the back end with eight on their active roster plus Zach Bogosian nearing a return. Their salary cap situation will make any sort of move tricky though as they’ll need to free up some money before they can activate Bogosian. Accordingly, any move that sees a defenseman move for a forward will need to be pretty close to cap neutral for them. TSN’s Darren Dreger reported in the latest Insider Trading (video link) that some believe that Botterill is hoping to get a deal or two done within the next week.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic:
- The Maple Leafs wasted little time getting their new head coach under an NHL contract as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports (Twitter link) that the team has inked Sheldon Keefe to a three-year contract. There was no provision in Keefe’s deal with the AHL Marlies that said what his NHL pay would have been upon being named head coach so they moved quickly to get a deal done.
- Bruins winger Brett Ritchie is dealing with a flare-up of an early-season infection, notes NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty. This and other injuries have limited him to just 14 games so far this season where he has recorded three points while logging just under 11 minutes a night. There is no timetable for his return.