Sabres sign Flynn and Hackett

Brian Flynn and Matt Hackett have agreed to terms with the Buffalo Sabres on two-year and one-year deals, respectively.

Flynn, 24, spent last season between Buffalo and the Rochester Americans. A point-per-game player over his career in the NCAA (153GP 69-87), where he spent four years at the University of Maine, Flynn posted 16 goals and 16 assists in 45 AHL games last season, and added another 11 points (6-5) in 26 NHL games in 2012-13.

Though he may not spend a ton of time in the AHL, Flynn is an impact player at the AHL level, and the first year of his contract is a two-way deal and could see him spend some time in the AHL and continue his development.

Hackett, 23, is known for his days in the Minnesota Wild organization where he spent three seasons. In 2012-13, while with the Aeros, Hackett appeared in 43 games and posted a 2.66 GAA and .907 SV%.

Traded to the Sabres as part of a package for Jason Pominville, Hackett will likely spend the majority of next season in Rochester.


Wild announce pair of signings

The Minnesota Wild have come to terms with forwards Justin Fontaine and Carson McMillan on one-year, two-way deals.

Fontaine, a member of the 2010-11 NCAA Champion University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, made his professional debut the following season as a member of then-Wild affiliate Houston Aeros. While in Houston the past two seasons, Fontaine, a winger, appeared in 146 games, talling 42 goals and 77 assists.

Fontaine, 25, signed his professional contract as an undrafted free agent with the Wild in April of 2011. The Bonnyville, Alta., native has a nice scoring touch and though he’s not the biggest body — he stands at 5’10” and weights 170 lbs. — he is effective from the perimeter and isn’t afraid to do what it takes to get the puck to the net.

McMillan, a 24-year-old from Brandon, Man., was a seventh round pick of the Wild in 2007. At 200th overall — nearly the last pick in the draft — McMillan has played well above what you imagine Minnesota had expected of him. In his four AHL seasons, McMillan has been an effective depth player for their AHL club, and has gotten the call to the NHL 15 times. In his 278 AHL games, McMillan has registered 32 goals and 31 assists, but has tallied two goals and three helps in his short span in the NHL.


Report: Blum lands in Minnesota

Jonathon Blum has reportedly signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Minnesota Wild, according to @IBNIncarcerated.

The former Nashville Predators defenceman was not tendered a qualifying offer, and the Preds left the 24-year-old to hit the free agent market.

A 2007 first round draft pick, Blum has spent his entire professional career with the Predators organization, appearing in 215 AHL contests and 91 NHL games since his debut in 2009-10. Over that time, Blum has registered 122 points (24-98) in 231 games while in the minors, and another 22 points (7-15) in 91 NHL appearances.

A skilled puck mover that can fill out the bottom of a roster, Blum may have some difficulty cracking the Wild defence, and he could spend the season as a fill-in in the big leagues and a mainstay in the AHL.

The reports say the deal will pay Blum over $600,000 in the NHL. AHL terms have not been released.

Wheels on the Bus: Draft Day

Well, that took a lot longer than expected.

After a three-minute time limit was imposed on drafting teams, some thought the first round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft would take no longer than two hours. Three hours later, the first round hadn’t ended, and the hubbub about there being trades into the double digits¬†was all for naught. All told, there were seven deals including players and a handful of picks-for-picks deals.

It wasn’t the biggest day as far as movement in the AHL goes, but a few years down the road you might be seeing a number of players from this year’s draft class getting some seasoning in the A. Continue reading