Stafford Signs 2-Year Deal

By Chris

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a legitimate hockey post, but then I received a text message that woke me up this morning. The Sabres have agreed to a contract with Drew Stafford.

Mike Harrington reports that it’s a two-year deal, but how much it’s worth is still a mystery. It’s certainly more than the $984,000/year deal he’s coming off of. It’s probably at least double that.

(UPDATE: The deal is worth $3.8 million total. Stafford will make $1.5 million this year and $2.3 million next season. Not a bad deal.)

A quick look at the depth chart would lead you to believe Stafford is the Sabres top right winger going into the season. Optimists will tell you Jason Pominville will bounce back and that’s entirely possible, but Stafford should be the go-to guy on the right side for now.

The former first-round pick scored a career-high 20 goals and 45 points in 79 games last season. In three seasons, Stafford has scored 110 points in 184 games. He’s known to disappear for stretches and has yet to use his size consistently.

The fears of him becoming the American Kotalik intensify when you see him score on that backhand shot in the shootout. Being the American Kotalik may not necessarily be a bad thing, though, if all you expect from him are 20 goals and 15 games off a year.

The Sabres are going to need him to be more than that and staying on the first line with Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek should provide him the opportunity to eclipse his career-highs from a year ago.

3 Comments

  1. Mark B

    I prefer having him and Vanek with Timmy. That line was going really well before Van’s injury. Vanek-Roy-Stafford has run its course for me.

  2. I don’t mind him being the American Ales if he makes less than 1.75M-2mil/per. I did mind paying Ales $2.5m/year. Of course, he then left Buffalo for Edmonton and had a wonderful post-trade deadline break (contract time!) before heading to frustrate the Rags.

    We’re getting two of Drew’s up and coming years here, so there is time for growth…and frustration.

  3. This being a 2 year contract is quite the risky move for either the franchise or Stafford. Personally, I prefer the move for the Sabres as I doubt Stafford has what it takes to become a player much better than Kotalik.