Skip to Main Content
The Buzz

NHL Summer Buzz: Thompson says Sabres 'a good fit'

Forward part of O'Reilly trade with Blues; Cole, Calvert know Avalanche coach well

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Welcome to the NHL Summer Buzz. With the 2018 NHL Draft over and free agency underway, the 31 NHL teams are making moves to shape their rosters for the 2018-19 season.

Here's a look around the League at the latest doings for Monday:

 
Thompson ready to flourish with Sabres 

Tage Thompson is confident he can become a full-time player in the NHL. 

The 20-year-old forward was traded to the Buffalo Sabres by the St. Louis Blues along with forwards Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Sobotka and two draft picks for center Ryan O'Reilly on Sunday.

Thompson was selected by the Blues with the No. 26 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft and began last season with St. Louis. He had nine points (three goals, six assists) in 41 games, averaging 11:55 of ice time per game.

"I think it's a really good fit for me," Thompson said Monday. "Young team. In St. Louis, they relied more on their veteran guys and I was pigeonholed in a sense. [I] didn't really get to play a lot or play the game I like to play. I'm excited to come to a new team, new organization, some young players that can go out there, have fun, make mistakes, develop and help the team win."

Video: Previewing the Sabres after a busy offseason

Thompson said he believes he'll have a chance to play a top-six role with the Sabres, either at center or right wing.

"Buffalo really wanted me and it's nice to be wanted," he said. "My role in St. Louis wasn't that big; I played small minutes in a minimal role as far as creating offense. But moving on from that, Buffalo is giving me an opportunity, they believe in my ability to produce offense and they'll give me that opportunity to slide into the top six and help create offense. I think you play better when you have confidence and just them giving me this opportunity has given me a ton more confidence."

[ALL THE SIGNINGS: NHL free agency tracker]
 

Cole, Calvert comfortable with Avalanche, Bednar 

Ian Cole and Matt Calvert, who each signed three-year contracts with the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday, are well-acquainted with their new coach, Jared Bednar.

Cole, 29, played for Bednar with Peoria of the American Hockey League in 2010-11. Bednar was Cole's first professional coach.

"I was a wide-eyed rookie trying to figure out how to transition to the pro game," the defenseman said Monday. "I had just left college (Notre Dame) after my junior season and he was great with me as far as teaching me and setting the stage for how a pro should act and how a pro should play. There were some hard lessons certainly, but looking back now none that I don't completely agree with. I think he's a great coach and a great human being too. It's a relationship that I'm looking forward to furthering."

Calvert played for Bednar and Avalanche assistant Nolan Pratt when they were assistants with Springfield of the AHL.

"It was a privilege to play for him and Nolan in Springfield," the 28-year-old forward said. "There's a lot of similarities there. I had a chance to meet with (Bednar) when he was in (AHL) Cleveland (in 2015-16), before he came to Colorado, so I got to see him once or twice a year at camp. We always had a great relationship. My wife actually used to nanny for Pratt's kids a little bit so we knew them well. I think when you have a relationship that you're happy about, it's a natural thing to come to Colorado."

View More

The NHL has updated its Privacy Policy effective January 16, 2020. We encourage you to review it carefully.

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.