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Sabres sign Thibault

A dozen years ago, he was a 19-year-old hotshot saddled with the unenviable assignment of replacing Patrick Roy in Montreal.

Jocelyn Thibault's duties for the Buffalo Sabres won't be nearly as stressful.

The veteran goalie was one of three players the Sabres added Thursday. They also re-signed forwards Andrew Peters and Michael Ryan.

Now 32, Thibault will serve as All-Star netminder Ryan Miller's backup. Thibault filled the same role for the Pittsburgh Penguins last season behind youngster Marc-Andre Fleury.

Thibault played 22 games for the playoff-bound Pens. He went 7-8-2 with a 2.83 goals-against average and .909 save percentage. Over a four-game stretch in the final month of the season, he allowed only four goals and recorded his lone shutout. He had an eight-minute relief appearance in the postseason.

"Jocelyn will bring veteran experience to our team," Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier said in a statement. "He had a strong finish to the season last year in Pittsburgh and we think he will be a great fit for the organization."

The 10th overall draft choice in 1992 also has played for the Quebec Nordiques, Colorado Avalanche, Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks. His career record is 235-234-68 with 2.74 GAA and a .904 save percentage.

His best season came with Chicago in 2002-03, when he was named to the Western Conference All-Star team and became the seventh-youngest goalie to win 200 games. He posted career-bests with a 2.34 GAA and a .914 save percentage.
Peters, a restricted free agent, will be back for a fourth season as the club's enforcer. The heavyweight winger had one goal, one assist and 125 penalty minutes. He didn't play in the postseason.
Ryan apparently figures into the Sabres' plans. The player acquired four years ago for captain Stu Barnes split time last season between Buffalo and Rochester in the AHL. He had three goals and two assists in 19 games with the Sabres and 28 goals and 23 assists in 50 games for the Americans.
"Michael is a young player who is ready to play full-time at this level," Regier said. "He continues to develop and will be an important part of our club next season."
Also Thursday, forward Derek Roy and defenseman Nathan Paetsch filed for arbitration. Their hearings will be scheduled between July 20 and Aug. 4 in Toronto.

Roy (63 points) earned $627,000 last season, while Paetsch (24 points) made $495,000.


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