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The Wraparound: Sabres sign Karabacek; Sharks finally make it; Ott, Blues bond

The Sabres' focus has long turned toward the 2016 NHL Draft, but they had one loose end to tie up from the 2014 selection show. It's tied.

Buffalo has agreed to a three-year, entry-level contract with Vaclav Karabacek. The 2014 second-round pick can potentially make $2.085 million, with NHL salaries of $640,556 in 2016-17 and $722,222 in each of the following two seasons.

The forward totaled 18 goals and 30 points in 47 games with Baie-Comeau and Moncton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season. He added six goals and nine points in 17 playoff games with Moncton.

Karabacek was the last junior player left to sign from the 2014 Draft, with a deadline set for June 1. The Sabres previously worked out deals with Sam Reinhart, Eric Cornel and Brycen Martin. There are different signing deadlines for college and European picks  Jonas Johansson, Max Willman, Christopher Brown and Victor Olofsson.


The relief was evident. So was the pain.

The Western Conference final came to an emotional conclusion Wednesday night with San Jose eliminating St. Louis for its first Stanley Cup appearance. The Sharks won, 5-2, for a 4-2 series victory.

Perennial contenders who always became bridesmaids, the Sharks are ready for either Pittsburgh or Tampa Bay in the final - or both.

The Blues, meanwhile, are done after winning Game Sevens against Chicago and Dallas. David Backes summed up the bonding with this story about teammate and former Sabres captain Steve Ott.


The Penguins and Lightning will decide the Eastern Conference final Thursday night in Pittsburgh (8 p.m., NBCSN). The Pens forced Game Seven with a victory in Tampa.

The Penguins are 2-7 at home in Game Sevens while Tampa is 5-1 and has allowed only three goals.


As for the Cup, the Penguins would have home-ice advantage over the Sharks. San Jose would have home-ice advantage against the Lightning.


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