Cal Petersen declared he was going pro two weeks ago. The Sabres have two more weeks to sign him.
If the goaltender plans to join Buffalo, he isn’t saying.
“We are not going to make any comments regarding Cal and his status right now,” Petersen’s representative told The Buffalo News on Wednesday.
Once the Notre Dame goaltender decided to leave school May 31, the clock started ticking for Buffalo. The Sabres received 30 days to sign him. If not, the 22-year-old will become an unrestricted free agent. That would coincide with the opening of NHL free agency July 1.
Petersen had an impressive three years for the Fighting Irish, leading them to the Frozen Four this season. He went 23-12-5 with a .926 save percentage and 2.22 goals against average while extending his run of consecutive starts to 90.
He finished first in career save percentage at Notre Dame (.924) and tied for third in victories (55).
— Notre Dame Hockey (@NDHockey) May 31, 2017
The Sabres drafted Petersen in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft. He’s attended development camps and kept in touch with the Sabres.
“He’s got a good relationship with Andrew Allen, our goalie coach,” ex-General Manager Tim Murray said in March on WGR-AM 550. “He’s got a great relationship with Seamus Kotyk, who is an ex-goalie who is a scout for us and does concentrate on goaltenders for us when he does scout. Our player development staff led by Jason Long have had tons of interaction with him. Jerry Forton, who’s from Buffalo who’s our main college guy, so the communications and the viewings and the effort’s been put in, but without bugging him, without texting him five times a day, without looking like we’re somewhat in panic mode whether we’re going to get him signed or not.
“The decision’s going to come to him, to his family and his representatives, but I think our staff has done a good job with him, and I think that he’s been treated more than fairly by the organization.”
Murray had promised Petersen the starting job in Rochester next season. It’s not known what new GM Jason Botterill has in mind for the goaltender.
"Our development staff, Andrew Allen and myself have had good conversations with Cal," Botterill told the Associated Press last month. "We will continue our dialogue with Cal over the next couple of weeks."
Petersen represented the United States in last month’s world championships. He served as the third goalie and never got into game, but he had the chance to test his skills against professionals.
Still, the learning curve is usually steep for goaltenders. Ryan Miller, for example, is considered one of the best goalies in NCAA history. He spent three seasons in Rochester, although the final one was the NHL lockout season of 2004-05.