The Buffalo Sabres have placed forward Anders Bjork on waivers, according to Chris Johnston of NorthStar Bets. The move comes after Bjork was scratched in each of the team’s first two games. Should he clear and is assigned to the minor leagues, the Sabres would receive $1.125MM in cap savings, leaving him with a charge of $475K on his $1.6MM contract.
Sonny Milano, who was on waivers yesterday, has cleared and will be assigned to the AHL’s Hershey Bears.
Bjork, 26, was given that $1.6MM cap hit by the Boston Bruins in 2020, when he signed a three-year, $4.8MM contract after his first full season. He didn’t even last the first year of the deal in Boston, before being part of the Taylor Hall trade in 2021. In Buffalo, things haven’t really gone well for the fifth-round pick. In 73 games he has just eight goals and 14 points, averaging just 12 minutes a night last season. This year he found himself on the outside looking in at a much deeper forward group, and now he very well could be on his way back to the AHL.
There’s a chance a team claims him, though it’s hard to justify passing on Milano’s $750K deal just to take Bjork’s $1.6MM cap hit. More likely he’ll have to go back to the minor leagues, a place where he has spent very little time in his professional career. After becoming a star at Notre Dame, Bjork stepped almost directly into the NHL with the Bruins, playing just 29 games at the AHL level over parts of three seasons.
The Sabres, not needing the cap room, are making this move to create room for Riley Sheahan who is about to return from injury. They are just barely over the salary cap floor as it is, even with Ben Bishop’s contract on the books.