The Buffalo Sabres acquired veteran centre Eric Staal in a trade that sent forward Marcus Johansson to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday.
Both players are in the final year of their contracts, with the cost-conscious Sabres saving $1.25 million US in space under the salary cap. Buffalo, however, takes on a 35-year-old Staal, who is six years older than Johansson.
Staal most importantly addresses Buffalo’s need at centre. He’s a 17-year NHL veteran, who had 19 goals in 66 games, just missing out on his 12th career 20-goal season, which was shortened due to the coronavirus in March. He also had 28 assists.
Staal is sixth among active players with 436 goals and eighth with 1,021 points.
Johansson struggled finding a niche in his first season with Buffalo and finished with nine goals and 30 points in 60 games. He’s a 10-year veteran who was signed to a two-year, $9 million contract in July 2019.
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