Matt Irwin to BUF: one-year, one-way, $700K
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 9, 2020
Matt Irwin to Buffalo
Irwin is a very cheap depth defender who might not be an every night guy for Buffalo. However, at that price, he should provide some value for the team. Irwin is a veteran in this league, playing 359 games over eight seasons. Recently, he has played part years with almost all of his teams, struggling to get even close to 82 games in a year.
Irwin went undrafted in his NHL career, and after two seasons at Umass-Amherst, played parts of four seasons with the San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate. At the time, they were known as the Worcester Sharks. Since then, he has played for the San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins, Nashville Predators, and most recently, the Anaheim Ducks.
Irwin will provide a role as a depth guy when injuries arise or if there are no other options. As well, with a season that has the possibilities of more back-to-backs then usual, it is not a bad idea to get a player like him just in case.
The Sabres still have much more work to do this offseason. They still need to check in on guys like Dominik Kahun, but they also need to sign most of a forward group. Plenty of RFA’s and also UFA decisions to make for the Sabres. Yet, this is still a smart deal as it provides almost no risk. If Irwin doesn’t work out as expected, his salary can be buried in the minors. It is also a one-year deal meaning either side can walk away next year if needed.
Look for the Sabres to continue being active as this free agency period rolls on.