Buffalo Sabres fans are still waiting for a difference-maker on the first day of free agency, but the front office continues to add depth to the organization instead. After inking Tobias Rieder earlier today, the Sabres have now signed Matt Irwin to a one-year, $700K contract according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.
Irwin, 32, has bounced around the league for the better part of a decade now, starting with the San Jose Sharks back in 2012. Undrafted, he now has 359 games at the NHL level, suiting up for the Sharks, Boston Bruins, Nashville Predators, and Anaheim Ducks.
With Lawrence Pilut playing in the KHL and Brandon Montour still unsigned, the Sabres had a need for some defensive depth. Irwin won’t be a difference-maker for the team, but he can provide stable third-pairing minutes or serve as a capable seventh defenseman.
A little later in the day, the Sabres also signed Brandon Davidson to a one-year, $700K contract, giving them another depth option on the back end. Davidson spent most of the 2019-20 season in the minor leagues with the Stockton Heat but does have 174 NHL games under his belt.