Buffalo Sabres Sign Tyler Ennis in 11th Hour

By Matt Clouden
Kevin Hoffman – US PRESSWIRE

After weeks of speculation, Buffalo Sabres restricted free agent Tyler Ennis has signed a two-year deal with the team.

Ennis was one of the Sabres’ best players down the stretch run last season, totaling 27 points in the Sabres’ last 25 games. With start of the season shrouded by the impending lockout, Sabres fans have some good news to enter into the impending period of uncertainty with.

The dollar amount of the contract was not immediately available, but recent signings suggest that Ennis will be paid somewhere in the $3.5 million range. Brad Marchand signed with the Boston Bruins last week at $4.5 million for four years and many have seen that contract as a peg for Sabres general manager Darcy Regier to work off of.

With the lockout likely beginning tonight at midnight, the question is where Ennis will play while the new CBA is negotiated. There have been no specifics mentioned, but Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe tweeted that Ennis would consider playing in Europe if the lockout drags on for a few months.

With Ennis’ switch to center putting him in number one center talk within the Sabres organization, getting a deal done was obviously a top priority for Regier during the last few weeks. Between Ennis and Cody Hodgson, never mind the new draftees this year, the Sabres are finally solid at the pivot for the first time in years.

Look for Ennis to start the season (whenever that may be) between Drew Stafford and Marcus Foligno next season. Their line seemed somewhat unstoppable at times last season and look for Lindy Ruff to capitalize on that once again.

UPDATE (1:19pm): Bob McKenzie has tweeted that Ennis has signed for an annual cap hit of $2.8125 million ($5.625 million total). That’s an excellent number for the Sabres.

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