Tim Murray and the Buffalo Sabres made big news on Tuesday, the start of the NHL's Free Agency period. To kick it off they made a trade with the Montreal Canadiens to acquire defenseman Josh Gorges. Gorges, 29, was a former alternate captain on the Canadiens and was being actively shopped. Not many saw this one coming at all, including myself. Gorges had rejected a potential deal that sent him to the Toronto Maple Leafs for what was rumored to be Cody Franson going the other way. Toronto and Montreal were unhappy with it. <a href="http://www.torontosun.com...maple-leafs">Link
text</a> In fact, in the link, Steve Simmons, a Leafs fan, was so upset at the idea of someone wanting to go to Buffalo instead of Toronto that he bashed Buffalo to heal his pain. He had even described Buffalo as the "armpit of America". As Andrew Peters had said later in a response, I believe Simmons is the armpit of journalism. Gorges added Buffalo to the teams he'd take a trade to and the Sabres surrendered a mere 2nd round draft pick in 2016 (from MIN) to add him. I believe he is a great addition and he was fifth in the league in blocked shots with 177. </p> The Sabres also had acquired former Canadien's captain, Brian Gionta. The native of Rochester is welcomed home with a 3 year $12.75 million contract. I believe this signing is outstanding for the future of the Sabres. Some complain, but the Sabres have to get to the floor somehow, and Gionta has a lot to offer. He is a born leader, can produce quite well for his age and adds so many intangibles that the Sabres desperately need. I think it'd be good for him to play a top-six role on the team with a letter on his chest. Putting him with a player like Sam Reinhart could be great for him to ease into the NHL. </p> The Sabres had later announced the signings of former Sabres Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick. McCormick had been with the Sabres five seasons prior to his trade to Minnesota with Moulson. McCormick certainly now holds the 4th line center position and is a good signing by Murray. As for Moulson, he snagged a 5 year $25 million deal. It's not as bad of a deal as people say. Moulson should have 5 good years left in the tank and is the Sabres main sniper now. In his stint in Buffalo, he played well without John Tavares and showed he has value without being next to Tavares. He should slot in as a top liner next season and will surely will be racking up many goals in a blue and gold jersey. </p> Defenseman Andrej Meszaros was inked to a 1 year deal worth $4 million. I think he's here to add depth to defense after buying out Christian Ehrhoff and releasing Jamie McBain. It's a no risk signing with the chance to get more out of it than expected by trading him at the deadline. I think he will earn a spot in their top 2 pairings unless he plays very poorly. </p> The Sabres also signed big physical defender, Tyson Strachan to bolster the defense in Rochester, likely for a deep playoff run, so the kids can learn their way around before hitting the NHL. Not too much to say about the signing besides the fact that he has NHL experience and could help out. The contract is a 2-way deal for one year where he earns $650,000 in the NHL and $250,000 in the AHL. </p> Ultimately, the Sabres hugely increased character, leadership, grit and skill in these acquisitions. I know it may be premature, but I consider this Summer a success. Props to Tim Murray and Kevin Devine. Thanks for reading, I may do a blog on my starting lineup for the start of the 2014-15 season. Comments are appreciated with insight on this matter, requests, constructive criticism, compliments etc. Overall, it is looking to be a great Summer in the rebuilding of the Sabres.