Well, we knew this was coming. The Sabres were over the salary cap. By $3.6 million. NHL rules state that teams must be under the salary cap before the season opens. The Sabres had to make a move. It was just a matter of who would they move and how would they move them. Now we’ve got our answers.
On Saturday, the Sabres placed forward Ales Kotalik ($3 million) and defenseman Shaone Morrisonn ($2.075 million) on waivers. The moves put the Sabres more than $1.5 million under the salary cap. There are several things that can happen with Kotalik and Morrisonn.
The Sabres can still trade either player. If not, the other teams in the NHL have until 12:00 PM EST on Monday to put in a claim on either player. If the players remain unclaimed the Sabres can assign them to their AHL team or even teams in Europe. Either way, their salaries stay off of the Sabres books unless the Sabres bring them back to the NHL roster.
Neither player was expected to play a large role with the Sabres. Neither had appeared in a preseason game for the Sabres this year. Kotalik had the best seasons of his career with the Sabres, but it looks like his tenure in Buffalo has come to its last chapter.
Buffalo fans have more to be excited for then just the Bills. The Sabres have invested money in player salaries like never before and nothing short of a Stanley Cup will be considered a success. That’s a big step for a franchise that was best-known for grooming excellent young players and then trading them away before losing them. It’s a whole new ballgame in 2011-12 and I couldn’t be more excited. How about you?