The Buffalo Sabres announced Friday night that they have signed forward Zemgus Girgensons to a one-year contract.
The forward had been a restricted free agent. Reports indicate that Girgensons will receive $1.15 million for the 2016-17 season. He had turned down a one-year qualifying offer of $874,125 earlier in the offseason.
“Zemgus has grown into a solid two-way player since beginning his career,” Sabres General Manager Tim Murray said in a prepared statement. “We hope to see him continue this positive trend and find a consistent role within the club this season as another young player to grow with our group.”
Girgenson sent this message out on Instagram about the signing: “Very excited to be back for another season with the Sabres! Thanks to everyone for all the support! Can’t wait to get the season going!”
Girgenson, 22, had seven goals - none of which came in a home game - and 11 assists for 18 points with 20 penalty minutes in 71 games during the 2015-16 season. That’s the lowest point production in his three-year NHL career. The team’s first-round draft choice in 2012 (14th overall) has a total of 70 points in 202 games in his career.
Around the league
• Center Scott Gomez, the first Hispanic and first Alaskan-born NHL player, is retiring from the sport after 16 seasons. Gomez, 36, was part of two Stanley Cup championship teams with the New Jersey Devils. He won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s top rookie in 1999-2000 and had 181 goals and 756 points in 1,079 career games.
• Detroit Red Wings standout Henrik Zetterberg won’t play for Sweden in the World Cup of Hockey because of a knee injury. Calgary Flames forward Mikael Backlund has been named to replace Zetterberg on the Sweden roster. Zetterberg is the second Detroit player to withdraw from Sweden’s team due to a knee injury. Defenseman Niklas Kronwell pulled out in late August. Zetterberg, 35, has scored 85 points in 119 international games for Sweden.