BOSTON -- Nolan Pratt, a veteran defenseman with a stay-at-home mentality, is the newest Buffalo Sabre. The 32-year-old with 10 years of NHL experience agreed to a one-year free agent contract worth $550,000 Thursday.
Pratt was part of Tampa Bay's 2004 Stanley Cup championship team. At 6-foot-3, 207 pounds, he joins Henrik Tallinder and the injured Dmitri Kalinin as the tallest Buffalo back-liners. Pratt also has played with Hartford, Carolina and Colorado.
"He gives us a little more on the defense side," said General Manager Darcy Regier. "We have a lot of puck movers and he falls more in the stay-at-home category. He's got good size and he's a good defender. And it certainly doesn't hurt that he's won a championship."
Regier said the Sabres will work Pratt in practice and it will be a few days before he will see game action.
Jaroslav Spacek (shoulder) returned to the lineup Thursday after missing five games while Kalinin (knee) is expected to be out a few more weeks.
Andrej Sekera will likely head back to Rochester when Pratt is ready.
"There's been a lot of injuries at that position around the league and we've already had our share," Regier said.
"You can never have enough defensemen and we have experienced that [injury] problem in the past. Having Nolan here will certainly help us in that regard."
The biggest ruckus from the TD Banknorth Garden crowd Thursday came when the World Series trophy was carted to center ice as part of a ceremonial faceoff. Owner John Henry and Chairman Tom Werner did the honors, and a recap of the team's second championship run in four years was displayed on the Garden video board.
Some of the fans even took up the "Re-sign Low-ell" chant that started Sunday night in Denver's Coors Field, urging the Sox to lock up Series MVP Mike Lowell and not let him leave via free agency.