Buffalo Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian hasn’t played 80 games in a season since the 2009-10 season and hasn’t played 70 games since the year after that. Injuries have plagued the 28-year-old defenseman throughout his entire career to the point where he played a career-low 18 games last year after undergoing hip surgery and now, despite the fact that Buffalo still owes him $5.1MM, he’s considered to be an afterthought.
Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News writes that Bogosian claims that he’s healthy for the first time in quite a while and can’t wait for training camp to start. Bogosian claims that January’s hip surgery has been an issue for years and now that it’s been corrected, he’s playing healthy finally as he debuted in Da Beauty League earlier this week.
“What I lot of people don’t realize about this surgery is that this is something I’ve been dealing with and playing with for years. It wasn’t like I kept randomly getting hurt,” Bogosian said. “I needed to get it fixed and we decided to be proactive about it because we knew it would be a long time. There’s never any great time for surgery but I’m glad to have it done when I did. I’m having a great summer of training now.”
The veteran defenseman still has a way to go to prove that he can be counted on by Buffalo. The team has made quite a few changes, including adding first-overall pick Rasmus Dahlin to it’s defense. A healthy Bogosian could only help this team even more.
- The Athletic’s Joe Smith (subscription required) writes that forward Ryan Callahan, who underwent shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum on May 31, said he remains on schedule, but likely won’t be available for the regular season until Nov. 1. He has been working out in the gym and is expected to start skating in mid-August. The 33-year-old injured his shoulder in January, but continued to play through it until the team was eliminated in the playoffs. Despite his grittiness, locker room presence and special teams skills, Callahan has been involved in frequent trade rumors due to the two years remaining on his deal at $5.8MM AAV. “Obviously there’s anxious moments waiting to see that happening,” Callahan said. “You’d have to be in a hole to not see rumors and things going on. Lucky I’ve been in the league long enough to know a lot of it is rumors and not a lot of it happens. You look at what you can control, and my total energy and effort is trying to get my shoulder healthy and get back as soon as possible.”
- Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said he’s thrilled with the team’s success upgrading its offense this offseason, according to Jameson Olive of NHL.com. The Panthers biggest addition was trading for winger Mike Hoffman in which the team traded a 2019 second-rounder as well as 2018 fourth and fifth round picks for a 22-goal scorer who had worn out his welcome in Ottawa. “You have to pay a lot for that type of player in free agency; you have to trade some of your rosters players to get a talent like that. It was a very opportune time or us. It worked in our favor. It doesn’t happen very often, where certain teams have to unload cap and have to make deals that maybe they’re not really willing to do at the time. For us, it was the right choice. It was the right move. We did pay. I’m not one to give up draft picks that readily. I really appreciate the value of a good pick. It’s not like we gave up nothing. We gave up some future picks, but we also felt it was necessary to add that depth to our team, especially when it’s the type of player that Hoffman is.”
- Helene St. James of the Detroit Free-Press looks back at past NHL drafts and evaluates the teams booms and busts over the years, headed by Henrik Zetterberg, who was the team’s seventh-round pick back in 1999 — and has already reached 19 seasons and 1,000 games.