When the Buffalo Sabres lost both Linus Ullmark and Carter Hutton to free agency, it left their goaltending depth chart almost completely empty. Only journeyman Dustin Tokarski and prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen remained, meaning the team was going to have to add another netminder at some point. They’ve done just that, though it certainly isn’t one that can handle a starting load if the need arises.
The Sabres have signed Craig Anderson to a one-year, $750K contract. The 40-year-old goaltender is now the oldest player under contract in the league. Just a few days ago, Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said that Anderson was expected to retire. That obviously hasn’t happened, as he’ll now join the Sabres and potentially have plenty of playing time this season.
Buffalo has also announced several other depth signings. Jimmy Schuldt, Sean Malone and Brandon Davidson have signed one-year contracts worth $750K each, Mark Pysyk has signed a one-year deal worth $900K, and Vinnie Hinostroza has signed a one-year contract worth $1.05MM.
Hinostroza is the most interesting among the five names, after he recorded 12 points in 17 games for the Chicago Blackhawks last season following a midseason trade. He had performed well offensively in the past, even recording a career-high of 16 goals and 39 points in 2018-19. The 27-year-old has been extremely inconsistent though, and will have to really take advantage of playing time in Buffalo to get his career back on track.
A few minutes later they signed Aaron Dell, another goaltender who isn’t a true starter and has struggled in recent years. Dell had an .857 in seven appearances for the New Jersey Devils in 2020-21, winning just one game. It’s good to have depth, but it seems like it will be up to Luukkonen if the Sabres are going to have any sort of above-average goaltending this season.