Sabres sign Victor Olofsson to 2-year, $6.1 million contract
BUFFALO, NY (AP) - The Buffalo Sabers avoided an arbitration hearing by signing a $ 6.1 million two-year deal with Victor Olofsson on Thursday.
Olofsson was a restricted free agent and ended a season finishing seventh in the Calder Cup rookie of the year vote. He was elected to the NHL's all-rookie team and had a chance to land higher on the Calder vote if he didn't miss 15 games with a lower body injury.
The 25-year-old finished third in the team with 20 goals and 42 points in 54 games. Most notably, Olofsson set an NHL record when he became the first player to score his first seven goals in power play.
Olofsson was due to hold an arbitration hearing on November 4th.
Olofsson was selected by Buffalo in the seventh round of the 2014 draft and was a late bloomer. He spent four seasons in the Swedish Elite League before moving to North America in 2018 to play with Buffalo's AHL partner in Rochester.
Olofsson's signing comes after the Sabers locked up their two other arbitrator-eligible, restricted free agents before their hearings were scheduled this week.
On Sunday, Buffalo signed striker Sam Reinhart on a one-year contract worth $ 5.2 million and goalkeeper Linus Ullmark on a one-year contract worth $ 2.6 million.
The moves essentially rule a roster that has seen several off-season changes under First Year General Manager Kevyn Adams, who took office after Jason Botterill was fired in June.
Adam's most notable move was the signing of a one-year $ 8 million contract with Taylor Hall - the best striker available on the free agency. The Sabers also signed the Cody Eakin free agent center and acquired the Eric Staal center as part of a deal with Minnesota.
The steps were taken to improve a team amid a nine-year playoff drought, the longest running streak in the NHL and a year after breaking a league record.
Hall offers an instant attack to a team where only three players have scored 20 or more goals, topped off by Reinhart and Captain Jack Eichel. Staal's addition addressed the Sabers' need for a second-line center.
"It's obviously great to see these people come in," Reinhart said during a video conference earlier in the day. "It is very exciting to see and we all look forward to coming back and trying to turn this around."
Reinhart finished second on the team with 22 goals and 28 assists and marked his third season in a row with 50 or more points.
Reinhart, selected number 2 in the 2014 draft, expressed mixed feelings about landing a one-year contract versus a longer-term contract.
"I think I've done a lot that I want to be recognized for and definitely want to be here for the long term," he said. "Do I think I've proven everything? No, definitely not. I don't think anyone can say that with the level or lack of success we really had as a team."
Ullmark ended his second NHL season, in which he finally took over the starting duties from Carter Hutton, 17: 14: 3 with 2.69 goals against the average. Ullmark was particularly keen on the track, finishing the year 6-3 before the March season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Overall, he has a 41-41-10 record in 97 NHL appearances.
Ullmark, who also spoke earlier in the day, appreciated the support the Sabers showed in his re-signing and looked forward to being more consistent next season.
"As a goalkeeper, proving that everyone who doubts is wrong is probably the most satisfying thing other than saving all the shots in a single game," said Ullmark, who is from his native Sweden. "My goal will be to take my game to the next level and prove myself."
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