Viktor Antipin is apparently one step closer to joining the Sabres.
The Russian defenseman has terminated his contract with Magnitogorsk Metallurg of the Kontinental Hockey League, Russia’s Sport-Express reported Monday. Antipin would then be free to sign with the Sabres.
Per source Viktor Antipin terminated his contract with Magnitogorsk Metallurg to sign with Buffalo #Sabres
— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) May 1, 2017
Buffalo has been talking with representatives for the 24-year-old since at least March. The interest from both sides hasn’t waned with the firing of General Manager Tim Murray.
Antipin would help fill a big hole for productive defensemen. He recorded six goals and 24 points in 59 games with Magnitogorsk, then led it into the Gagarin Cup finals with seven goals and 11 points in 18 playoff games.
Highlights of Antipin's season are available by clicking here.
The 5-foot-11, 179-pounder has represented Russia at the past two world championships. He has also played in the world juniors and the world under-18 tournament. He has won two Gagarin Cups.
The Sabres’ left-handed shots on the blue line this season were Jake McCabe, Josh Gorges, Dmitry Kulikov and Justin Falk.