The Bills continue to show confidence in the future of Andy Levitre. Back in April, the team traded up into the second round to draft the left tackle out of Oregon State. And on Sunday, they signed him to a 4-year contract reportedly worth around $3.6 million with $1.8 million guaranteed.
As John DiGiorgio will attest
, the length and worth of your contract is fairly meaningless beyond the guaranteed money, but it's obvious the Bills see some serious potential in Levitre, even though they're signing him to play a position he's not used to in a league he's never taken a snap in.
And given the fact that this is basically the same front office that moved up in the draft to obtain the almost-dealt John "I Couldn't Even Stay In Shape Enough To Get Traded, Let Alone Play" McCargo, it's hard for me to get excited for this guy just yet.
All that being said, if this offense is going to be half as good as we all hope it is, Levitre and his newly adjusted linemates will be the ones responsible.
John DiGiorgio will be out for the 2009-2010 NFL season. Upon hearing the news, Chief Operating Officer Russ Brandon said, Well shit, you won't need that contract while you're trying to heal. Let me just take that off your hands for you, and proceeded to waive him from the team's roster.
Ok... so perhaps that isn't an exact quote but John Wawrow of the Associated Press reported earlier today that DiGiorgio had season-ending knee surgery two weeks ago to repair the knee that was damaged last year during a special teams play. (Sidenote: For the record, I don't think we should ever refer to Brandon as a GM until he shows any sign that he actually has a clue what he's doing.) DiGiorgio resigned in February, but the powers that be announced today, at the start of training camp, that the linebacker had been waived.
DiGiorgio had already been recovering from ACL surgery after tearing his in Week 6 against the Chargers. The surgery he had two weeks ago was to repair bone damage in his knee.
His agent says he'll be fully healthy by January. While this may be a cold move by the Bills, clearly a back-up middle linebacker won't do us the least bit of good in January.
In other injury related news, the Bills also announced that young wideouts C.J. Hawthorne and James Hardy will also miss the start of training camp. They have been placed on the team's PUP list (Physically Unable to Perform).
The Buffalo Sabres announced today that they had reached agreements with Andrej Sekera and Clarke MacArthur. Sekera signed a multi-year contract while MacArthur & the Sabres accepted an arbitration settlement. Neither figure was reported by the team, but the Buffalo News' Mike Harrington says a news outlet in Sekera's home country of Slovakia (known for it's... something) is reporting that the deal is 2 years at $1 million per year.
I could throw their numbers from the last few seasons at you, but it seems obvious that no one is sold on these guys just yet. Otherwise, I would imagine it'd be a lot tougher to keep them around so briefly and so cheaply. Hopefully both of them will show that they're worth investing in this coming season. Not that we'd invest in our young talent, but maybe we'd get a playoff run out of it. If it doesn't look that way by the deadline, I'd bet Regier would look to deal MacArthur for picks.
These moves leave Drew Stafford and Mark Mancari as the only restricted free agents left unsigned by the Sabres.
Unfortunately, yet again this summer, a former Buffalo Bill has removed the need to create an imaginary scenario where a current member of the squad is arrested. The dubious honor this week goes to former RB Travis Henry.
Henry was sentenced to three years in federal prison for his role in financing a drug trafficking ring operating from Denver, Colorado to Billings, Montana.
He was arrested last October in Montana after authorities found 6 pounds of marijuana and 6.6 pounds of cocaine that allegedly belonged to him. Federal agents described Henry as the "money guy" in the operation.
In April, Henry pleaded guilty to one count in trafficking cocaine. He faced the mandatory minimum of 10 years to life in prison. But U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull sentenced Henry to three years in a Florida prison and another five years' probation. Cebull also said that if Henry completes a 500-hour drug treatment program while in prison, he would take 12 months off his sentence. Plus, Henry is already being credited the 2 months he served in a Montana prison, so he could be released as soon as November 2010.
Travis' lawyers say he was "duped" by his friends who were in the drug trade. Supposedly, they took advantage of his fragile state after he was released by the Broncos.
The Sabres' 2009-2010 schedule has officially been released. The Sabres will open their season at home against Scott Gomez, Jaroslav Spacek and the rest of the new Montreal Canadians.
The most notable thing about the schedule right now would have to be the end. If you're one of the more optimistic Sabres fans who thinks we have a shot at the playoffs this year, certainly you're not foolish enough to think we'll cruise into them. The last couple seasons tell us the Sabres will need to win games down the stretch to get into the top 8. Well, six of the Sabres' final eight games will be on the road. After hosting the Lightening on Saturday, March 27th, the Sabres go to the Bruins, home for the Panthers, then at Leafs, at Candians, home for the Rangers, at Bruins, at Senators and ending it all (well, hopefully not all) in New Jersey against the Devils. If I'm correct in my assumption of the Sabres' eventual necessity to win in the home stretch, that will be a tough road-trip. Only time will tell, I suppose.
Click here if you would like to view the Sabres' schedule as a PDF.
Yesterday, the Buffalo Sabres signed veteran defenseman, a.k.a. washed-up never-was, Joe DiPenta to one-year deal.
Ok, that 'washed-up' bit is a bit too mean for a new team member, but the Penguins just signed former Sabre Jay McKee. We here at DGWUSports LOVE Jay McKee. No Sabre played with any more guts on the ice than Jay McKee. And now he's a Penguin and who do we have?? Joe "I spent last year putting up six points and 71 penalty minutes in 47 games with VASTRA FROLUNDA HC GOTEBORG!?" DiPenta!?!...
A Virginia Beach judge convicted Bills' legend Bruce Smith of drunk driving, speeding and refusing to take a breathalyzer test on Thursday. Smith's attorney attempted to argue that Smith's football injuries (bad knees, concussion, etc.) made it very difficult for him to perform the field sobriety tests, but the judge felt there was enough evidence to convict Smith of the charges.
This will be the first DUI charge that has stuck to Bruce. He was charged twice before, but both times he was not convicted. This time, Judge Teresa McCrimmon gave Smith a 90-day suspended jail term and fined him $350 for DUI. She also suspended his driver's license for a year for refusing the breath test and fined him $90 for speeding.
None of this will slow Bruce down from entering the Pro-Football Hall of Fame in a month. Smith will be inducted into the Hall, along with owner Ralph Wilson, on Saturday, August 8th.
The ink is dry on another new Sabres contract, albeit not a very exciting one. The Sabres signed winger Matt Ellis
to a one-year deal. The value of the deal has not been disclosed yet. The 27-year-old forward was picked up off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings just before the start of last season. Over the course of the season, Ellis contributed 12 points in 45 games and was a rare physical presence (6'1", 210 lbs.) on the ice for the Sabres. Well ... physical by the Sabres' standards.[DGWUS Super Special Fun Fact: Matt Ellis would go on to become the biggest man-crush in the Scizz's sports world!]
The one-year deal seems to be the only kind that Regier is interested in writing these days. Earlier this off-season he signed new defenseman Steve "The Matador" Montador (It's too easy, I know, but it has to be done) for one year after Jaro Spacek rejected a one-year deal.
Meanwhile, former Sabre Ales Kotalik (seen right firing a puck directly into the goalie's chest) has returned to the Eastern Conference after a brief stint in Edmonton. Kotalik signed a 3-year deal worth $9 million to rejoin fellow former Sabre Chris Drury with the New York Rangers. Kotalik, you'll remember, was traded to the Oilers at the deadline last season for a second-round draft pick that Regier then turned and traded to Toronto for forward Dominic Moore. Moore is no longer employed by the Sabres, but that may only be temporary. Supposedly Moore is hoping for a deal in the $2 million range (he made $900,000 last season) which is why the Leafs were looking to deal him. If Regier had no intention of signing Kotalik for 3-mil, I can't imagine he plans on signing Moore for 2. But I bet we'd pick him back up if he'll take a one-year deal in the $1 million range, like Montador. Otherwise, he'll join Steve Bernier and Dainius Zubrus in the Hall of "Guys We Traded Former Cornerstones For Only To Let Them Walk Out The Door Too".
I almost feel like I liked it more when they let guys finish out the season as Sabres and then sent them packing...
MacArthur Accepts Salary Arbitration
According to a statement from the NHL Players Association, forward Clarke MacArthur has accepted salary arbitration with the Buffalo Sabres
. Typically a player must have four years of NHL experience to be eligible for arbitration, but since MacArthur signed his first contract after turning 20, that term is reduced.
MacArthur just finished his first full season with the Sabres, but with no numbers to gasp at. He finished the year with 17 goals & 14 assists in 71 games (Side note: he only missed three games the entire year, due to injury). Over at Die By The Blade
, this blogger has calculated
MacArthur's worth to be in the $1-2 million range based on other players with similar season stats.
Assuming blogging calculations aren't good enough for Tom Golisano to write a check out to, the Sabres & MacArthur will now have a hearing with a neutral third party to decide what salary he'll receive. Once the hearing makes it's decision, the team will have 48 hours to either accept the deal or release MacArthur as an unrestricted free agent. Our guess is Clarke will be back on the bench next season... but Lord only knows what sort of difference that will make.
feat. Grandpa Tim
On this lovely July 4th weekend, High Character Friday will be brought to you by a new face at DGWU Sports. We would like to introduce you to fellow Buffalo-to-New York transplant, Grandpa Tim.
I met Tim in 2006 during the Eastern conference finals against Carolina. We were part of large, wild group at a certain bar that was playing all the games for us, including Labatt's and the Sabre Dance (fuck these guys now though, they cater to douche-bag Ranger fans).
Grandpa Tim is also slightly older than the rest of us, hence the nickname. We have let him have it over the years because old jokes towards Tim never get....um, old. Anyways, Tim will be contributing to this site once in awhile, so please join me in welcoming him. But please speak loudly because he only has one good ear. Take it away old man!
Not actual photo of Grandpa Tim