----According to a report by Alexander Nilsson of SportExpressen in Sweden, the Sabres have hired Anders Forsberg as their director of European scouting. Forsberg, who was fired last season as the coach of MODO in the Swedish Elite League, was a scout with the Ottawa Senators when Buffalo GM Tim Murray was assistant GM there.
"Tim is perhaps the best hockey man I encountered," Forsberg said in a translated link to the story. "He is very good at so many levels and very straight and simple ... and usually get what he wants. He is perhaps the most important piece for this organization."
4 p.m. update: The Sabres have confirmed Forsberg's hiring but simply call him a European scout and not a director.
---Cody Hodgson met the media in Nashville yesterday and pointed out his sister is a student at Belmont University there. He played the fresh start angle hard after his buyout in Buffalo and had a cryptic comment on the past season with the Sabres.
"It was a rough year all the way around, on the ice, off the ice, everything could go wrong went wrong," Hodgson said. "It was a disaster of a season by all accounts."
(Of course, those who rooted hard for the tank that resulted in Jack Eichel might beg to differ).
---RIP to the so-called "bridge contracts" in the NHL. With unrestricted free agency mostly a bust these days, teams are locking up their young players very early. Vladimir Tarasenko got an eight-year, $60-million contract from St. Louis on Wednesday in the wake of Brandon Saad's six-year, $36-million deal with Columbus, Dougie Hamilton's six-year, $34.5 million contract with Calgary and Ryan O'Reilly's seven-year, $52.5-million gutbuster with the Sabres.
The O'Reilly deal in particular seems to have the Rangers in a jam to pay Derek Stepan, who scored 21 goals as a rookie in 2010-11 and hasn't hit 20 since. Stepan has filed for salary arbitration.
James Mirtle of the Toronto Globe and Mail did an interesting story on the whole situation earlier this week.