Zach Bogosian's days in the Buffalo Sabres' organization are officially over.
Just more than five years after he was acquired from the Winnipeg Jets along with winger Evander Kane, the Sabres announced Friday they have placed the veteran defenseman on unconditional waivers with the intention of terminating his contract.
Once Bogosian clears, the Sabres will officially be off the hook for the remaining $3.9 million of his salary cap hit. He was costing the team $5.124 million until he was sent to Rochester last week, which initially reduced the number. The Sabres suspended him for failing to report to the AHL and Friday's move now locks in the cap hit at zero.
It also gives Bogosian a chance to immediately become an unrestricted free agent. He must sign a deal by Monday afternoon's 3 p.m. NHL trade deadline to be eligible to play in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Bogosian has one goal and four assists in 19 games this season after missing Buffalo’s first 22 games while recovering from hip surgery.
The Sabres have been trying to work out a trade for Bogosian since he requested one in December. There have been no takers, even though it's widely known the team was willing to retain salary in any move and TSN reported Friday that General Manager Jason Botterill had indicated to teams the Sabres would retain the maximum 50 percent of Bogosian's cap hit to get a deal done.
Bogosian pocketed around $28 million during his injury-plagued stint with the Sabres. He played 243 games, scoring 13 goals and adding 54 assists while compiling a minus-49 rating.
Full lineup at practice
The Sabres had a full lineup for practice Friday in KeyBank Center as Jack Eichel and Kyle Okposo returned after taking maintenance days on Thursday and winger Michael Frolik also rejoined the team after missing most of the last week, including two games, due to the flu. All three are expected to play in Saturday's matinee against Pittsburgh.
"Definitely with what he had, he was distanced from the team," coach Ralph Krueger said of Frolik, who was bedridden for a few days. "Today he was actually welcomed back into the team meeting because even yesterday he still practiced on his own to be sure. There was a separation there to keep that illness locked up in one person which I think is really important that you don't let it spread in the team. That's how we deal with it. Once the doctors give the green light, he's back in. He looks fresh and strong today so we're happy to have him back."
Frolik skated Friday on a line with Jeff Skinner and Curtis Lazar. Eichel returned to his normal spot between Victor Olofsson and Sam Reinhart while Okposo slotted back in with Zemgus Girgensons and Johan Larsson.