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Sabres Notebook: Fasching dealt, '18-19 schedule coming next week, Luukkonen signed

The Buffalo Sabres sent winger Hudson Fasching to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night and received the rights to defenseman Brandon Hickey and forward Mike Sislo, two unsigned players who could augment their development pool.

Hickey, 22, was the captain of Boston University this season, leading the Terriers to their second Hockey East championship as he had six goals and eight assists in 35 games. The 6-foot-2, 201-pounder was Calgary's third-round pick in 2014 and his rights were transferred to Arizona last June.

As a freshman, he played on the BU squad that advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four championship game and included current Sabres Jack Eichel and Evan Rodrigues as well as Danny O'Regan, the Rochester forward who was acquired from San Jose in February for Evander Kane.

Hickey has represented Canada internationally in the 2016 World Juniors and the 2018 Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland.

Sislo, a 30-year-old right winger, had 23 goals and 24 assists in 68 games for Tucson of the AHL this season. He played 42 NHL games for New Jersey from 2013-16 and has played for four AHL teams in a pro career that dates to 2011.

Hickey and Sislo are both currently unsigned. As a college senior, Hickey could become an unrestricted free agent if he is not signed by Aug. 15.

Fasching struggled with injuries and inconsistency in his three years with the Sabres after being acquired in a 2014 trade with the Los Angeles Kings. He had 12 goals and 18 assists this season for Rochester and did not collect a point in five games with Buffalo.

The restricted free agent was a healthy scratch in two of Rochester's three playoff games and the trade may indicate the Sabres were not going to extend him a qualifying offer.

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The NHL's 2018-19 schedule will be released in two stages next week, the league has announced.

All teams' home openers will be revealed Wednesday afternoon at 1 p.m. and the full schedule will be released Thursday at 5 p.m. in a televised show on NHL Network and streamed on NHL.com. The season is expected to open on Oct. 3.

The Sabres have opened their season at home the last four years and have not started the schedule on the road since a 2013 loss at Detroit.

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Finnish goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, the Sabres' second-round pick in last year's draft, has signed a three-year, entry level contract.

Luukkonen, 19, spent most of last season with Leki (Mestis) of Finland’s second division with an 11-11-2 record in 24 games. His save percentage of .909 was seventh in the league. He also spent time in Buffalo last winter as part of the Finnish team in the World Junior Championship.

Rated the No. 1 European goaltender available in the 2017 draft, Luukkonen was selected by the Sabres at No. 54 overall. He is likely at least two to three years away from being in the NHL and could remain in Finland next year to delay the start of his entry-level contract.

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The NHL's buyout window opens Friday and runs until June 30. The Sabres could be looking to rid themselves of the final year of Matt Moulson's contract after the veteran winger was loaned to the Ontario Reign of the AHL last season.

With a buyout, Moulson's $5 million cap hit could be reduced to $3,666,667 this season and just $666,667 in 2019-20.

Former Sabre Tyler Ennis, who has one year left on his deal with Minnesota at a cap hit of $4.6 million is reportedly a buyout candidate for the Wild.

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