Ennis’ contract provides for future flexibility - The Buffalo News

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Ennis’ contract provides for future flexibility

Where does Tyler Ennis fit in with the Sabres now and in the future? Is a $4.6 million cap hit too high for him going forward for the next five years?

Interesting questions. We’re here to try to provide answers.

General Manager Tim Murray acknowledged Friday that Ennis is the team’s No. 1 center for this year, with the obvious caveat that we don’t know what lies in the future (see McDavid, Connor).

“He’s a part of the team,” Murray said. “Is he a center, is he a winger? We’ve talked about that with his agent and where he fits. He fits somewhere on this team.”

The list is as follows:

• Scott Hartnell, Columbus $4.75M, 20 goals, 32 assists, 52 points (w/Philadelphia).

• Bryan Little, Winnipeg, $4.7M, 23-41-64.

• R.J. Umberger, Philadelphia, $4.6M, 18-16-34 (w/Columbus).

• Max Pacioretty, Montreal $4.5M, 39-21-60.

• David Backes, St. Louis, $4.5M, 27-30-57.

• Brad Marchand, Boston $4.5M, 25-28-53.

• Teddy Purcell, Edmonton $4.5M, 12-30-42 (w/Tampa Bay).

• Vinny Lecavalier, Philadelphia $4.5M, 20-17-37.

• Erik Cole, Dallas $4.5M, 16-13-29.

• Martin Erat, Arizona $4.5M, 3-26-29 (w/Phoenix-Washington).

• Tomas Fleischmann, Florida $4.5M, 8-20-28.

• Alex Burrows, Vancouver $4.5M, 5-10-15.

• Brooks Laich, Washington, $4.5M, 8-7-15.

• Andrew Ladd, Winnipeg $4.4M, 23-31-54.

So with Ennis still only 24 years old and his agent openly talking about 30-goal, 70-point seasons, it seems like it’s a pretty reasonable deal for the Sabres.

It’s even more reasonable when you realize it’s front loaded, with Ennis getting $7.3 million this season and the contract scaling down to just $3.65 million in the last three years.

Translation: It will be a contract that’s easy to trade down the road if the Sabres want to move a guy with a $4.6M cap hit who’s not owed a lot of money.

email mharrington@buffnews.com

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