After Jason Botterill’s pre-draft confirmation that Cal Petersen would not be a Sabre, the saga officially came to an end when the goaltender inked an entry-level contract with the LA Kings.
Petersen’s decision to test the open market was rumored going back to the spring and was all but guaranteed when he announced he was turning professional as opposed to signing an entry-level deal with the Sabres in May. His departure is a sore spot for Sabres fans who saw Tim Murray acquire Jimmy Vesey’s rights only for the Hobey Baker winner to test the market last summer.
Petersen is the fourth NCAA prospect in as many years to opt to test free agency as opposed to signing with the team that drafted them. By my count, eight NCAA prospects have opted for free agency since 2008; Blake Wheeler, Justin Schultz, Blake Kessel, Jason Gregorie, Kevin Hayes, Mike Reilly, Jimmy Vesey and Cal Petersen. We’ll see a ninth join the group when Will Butcher hits free agency in August but it’s hard to say how much responsibility lies with the Avalanche for pushing Butcher to free agency.
Note: This doesn’t include players who signed as free agents after the team allowed their draft rights to expire. There may be other prospects who went this route as well, but none that I came across. Continue reading →
Back for another season of takes, Chris and Tyler kick off season six with much of the same from the end of season five. The defenseman market has shifted since the end of the Conference Finals and due to potential moves out of Vegas. Meanwhile the Sabres have signed Jonas Johnasson, have fewer than 24 hours to ink Giorgio Estephan and now know Cal Petersen will play professionally next season. All the while Jason Botterill is hammering out his list of candidates for the head coaching job.
There was no escaping the Jimmy Vesey debate last year, especially after the Sabres acquired his rights from Nashville. Will he or won’t he sign? He’s playing with Eichel in the summer, is that a sign? Now Sabres fans are enduring the same angst as they wait for news regarding Cal Petersen.
Should he choose to leave school, Petersen could become a free agent on June 1 and test the waters around the league to see which feels best. Like with Vesey, it’s a right he’s entitled to via the CBA.
Aside from Petersen, his family, advisor and maybe Tim Murray, no one really knows what’s going on at this point in time. But it stands to reason that the longer Petersen goes without a contract, the more likely it is that he’s going to hit the open market.
It’s not out of the realm of possibility that he chooses to return to Notre Dame for his senior season, as we’re now two days removed from the end of the Sabres season and five days removed from Petersen’s exit from the Frozen Four with news of a contract yet to break. It’s not out of the question that Petersen would still sign with the Sabres, it just seems unlikely the further away from the end of the season we get. Continue reading →
A number of moves made by Darcy Regier and Tim Murray were done to prepare the Sabres for life after Ryan Miller. One player that was acquired (Matt Hackett) may find himself pushed out of the Buffalo goaltending situation.
Regier’s drafting of LinusUllmark and Cal Petersen in consecutive seasons along with the acquisitions of Hackett and MichalNeuvirth has bolstered Buffalo’s depth in the crease with an eye on the future. The Sabres have drafted a goaltender in each of the last three drafts and have eight goaltenders in various levels of the pipeline.
While Jhonas Enroth and Neuvirth are expected to carry the load into the 2014-15 season, the landscape behind them could be in for a change depending on the direction Murray wants to go. Both Enroth and Neuvirth have one more year left on their respective deals before reaching unrestricted free agency. Nathan Lieuwen has one more year until his entry level deal expires while both Matt Hackett and Connor Knapp hit restricted free agency this summer.
Andrey Makarov is the only signed goaltender with significant time on his deal; he doesn’t become a restricted until after the 2015-16 season. Cal Petersen and Linus Ullmark are both unsigned with Petersen a few years away as he prepares to head to Notre Dame and Ullmark creeping towards a contract with superb play in the SHL.
The situation for the big club is all but set. Enroth and Neuvirth will be Buffalo’s starters entering next season and it’s conceivable that they both receive extensions next summer as the rebuilding process continues. It’s the depth chart below them that could be due for a shake up. Continue reading →