The Buffalo Sabres signed two players on Wednesday who will see most of their time in a Rochester Americans uniform, Greece native Derek Whitmore and veteran Colin Stuart.
Whitmore is a Rochester native that many local hockey fans know of. He started his pro career in an Amerks uniform when he played in eight games at the tail end of the 2007/2008 season when the Amerks and Sabres were in the midst of their breakup. In the past three seasons with the Portland Pirates he has increased his output each season with 2010/2011 being his best with 27 goals and 20 assists in all 80 games for the Pirates. Hopefully his production continues and the Amerks have their first player to score 30 or more goals in over half a decade.
Kevin Okolbzija sent out a tweet saying that Whitmore will earn a $95k salary in the AHL and his obvious goal is to earn his first call up to the Buffalo Sabres. A home town player who’ll be a big part of the team should help boost ticket sales even more with his family and friends.
Colin Stuart was the other player signed on Wednesday to a one year contract by the Buffalo Sabres. Stuart will fill up one of the five allowed veteran spots on the roster. Stuart had 16 goals and 28 assists with the Portland Pirates last season. Hopefully his veteran presence is someone that the younger players can learn from and improve on the ice. He’s not the top 50 AHL veteran we had hoped for but it’s a start.
There’s still a couple of holes in the roster to add some scoring power. We just have to assume that Darcy Regier notices the same thing and is working on some options.