Sabres hope Boyes can provide some offensive punch

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Terry Pegula’s influence and deep pockets as the Buffalo Sabres new owner quickly paid off for the team at the NHL’s trading deadline.

With Pegula’s blessing, the Sabres added forward Brad Boyes _ and what’s left of the player’s hefty salary _ to a lineup in need of offensive punch in a bid to make one final push for the playoffs.

“This is a new era of ownership,” general manager Darcy Regier said Monday, a day after acquiring Boyes in a trade with the St. Louis Blues. “The parameters are different. I think what Terry has done is open up an area that we haven’t had the ability to go to before. And that’s positive.”

Regier was referring to how, in the past, he lacked the flexibility to add a high-priced player such as Boyes. In exchange for a second-round draft pick, the Sabres landed a two-time 30-goal-scorer, while also picking up what’s left of Boyes‘ $4.5 million salary this season, plus the $4 million he’s to make next year.

His addition ups the Sabres payroll to about $56 million, about $3.5 million under the NHL salary cap.

The trade was completed late Sunday night, and less than a week after Pegula, a Pennsylvania billionaire and longtime Sabres fan, closed on his $189 million purchase of the franchise. Regier said Pegula was on hand during trade talks for much of the weekend in leading up to Monday’s deadline.

Boyes joins the Sabres (29-25-7) who sit two points behind Carolina in the race for the Eastern Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot. Buffalo also prepares to embark on a seven-game road trip that opens at the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

“For us to be able to add someone who is going to contribute offensively … it’s important,” Regier said. “It’s an important message to send to the players.”

Boyes traveled to Buffalo from Calgary, where he played in the Blues‘ 1-0 loss on Sunday night. After completing his physical, Boyes was scheduled to join the Sabres in New York.

The 28-year-old has 12 goals and 29 assists in 62 games this season. His 41 points immediately put him second on the Sabres list this season, behind Thomas Vanek’s 52.

Vanek credited Pegula for making the move.

“What else can you ask for in an owner who wants to really win?” Vanek said. “For us, it’s great. Now we’ve just got to rise up to it.”

Boyes addition should help.

“I think it’s huge,” Vanek said. “Any time you can add scoring to your lineup it’s going to help out. The guy’s proven, and I think he’s going to fit in good here.”

Buffalo’s offense has been inconsistent for much of this season, and was dealt a big blow after losing top-line center Derek Roy to a season-ending knee injury in late December. The Sabres are coming off a six-game homestand in which they went 2-3-1, a stretch during which they managed just 12 goals.

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