Sabres expect to lose out in signing goalie prospect
CHICAGO (AP) Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill has all but given up on signing goalie prospect Cal Petersen.
Botterill expects the former Notre Dame star to pursue free agency at the end of next week.
”Disappointed, but we’ll move on,” Botterill said Friday before the first round of the NHL draft began in Chicago. ”I certainly wish him all the best in his career, but we always knew that was a possibility.”
Selected by Buffalo in the fifth round of the 2013 draft, Petersen put the Sabres on the clock upon announcing May 31 that he was forgoing his final year of college eligibility. That leaves Buffalo 30 days to sign Petersen before he’s free to sign with any NHL team.
The player’s agent, Pete Rutili, did not respond to a text message.
From Iowa, Petersen led the Fighting Irish to their third Frozen Four appearance in April and was one of five finalists for the Mike Richter Award as college hockey’s top goalie. He went 23-12-5 with a 2.22 goals-against average and six shutouts last season.
In closing his Notre Dame career by making 90 consecutive starts for the fourth-longest streak in NCAA history, Petersen had a 55-39-15 record and 11 shutouts.
Botterill had little time to develop any relationship with Petersen after being hired last month to replace GM Tim Murray, who was fired along with coach Dan Bylsma in April.
The Sabres were expecting to have Petersen compete for a starting job with their minor league affiliate AHL Rochester next season.
Buffalo is otherwise set in goal at the NHL level, with Robin Lehner to return and Linus Ullmark expected to be the backup.
Botterill secured Ullmark for the Sabres by reaching a deal with the Vegas Golden Knights before the NHL expansion draft Wednesday. Botterill traded a sixth-round draft pick in getting Vegas to select forward William Carrier instead of Ullmark.
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