Viktor Antipin "Set To Sign With The Buffalo Sabres"

May Be Coming To Buffalo Within The Next Few Weeks

Richard Root
May 22, 2017 - 6:32 am

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - Ever since the Pegulas fired General Manager Tim Murray, the fate of negotiations with defenseman Viktor Antipin has been in question.  If KHL insider Aivis Kalniņš, is correct, then Sabres fans can breathe a sigh of relief.

Kalniņš Tweeted this yesterday:

His response to the question of whether or not other teams think Antipin can be a "NHL regular":

On May 1, Igor Eronko, who covers hockey and the KHL for The Sports Express, Tweeted Antipin had canceled his contract: 

So, who is Antipin, and why do the Sabres want, or, perhaps more accurately, need him?  

Antipin is 24 and has played as a regular in the KHL since 2012-2013. He had a career-high 24 points in 59 games this past season. Antipin was the top defensive player in the KHL Finals, scoring seven goals with four assists in 18 games of the playoffs. 

It's well known among fans and analysts that the Buffalo Sabres needs to work on strengthening their blue line.  New Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill wants the Sabres to have a "a high-tempo, puck-possession, north-south game" not unlike the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Analysts say one key to acheiving Botterill's goal will be the transition play from the defense.  The Peguins reportedly pursuing Antipin before Botterill moved from that team to the Sabres may indicate Botterill thinks Antipin can handle that transition game.  Time will tell.


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