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Sabres C Gaustad out after having thumb surgery @NHLdotcom

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -Sabres center Paul Gaustad will miss up to the first three weeks of the regular season after he had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb Tuesday.

Gaustad, entering his fourth NHL season, was hurt during a fight in Buffalo's 2-1 shootout loss to Minnesota on Sunday. He had one goal in two games this preseason and was expected to provide a physical presence on the Sabres' second or third line.

Buffalo continues its preseason schedule at Minnesota on Wednesday in preparing to open the regular season against Montreal on Oct. 9. Gaustad is expected to be out for up to a month.

The Sabres identified Gaustad as one of their core players this summer when they re-signed him to a four-year $9.2 million contract. Buffalo's seventh-round draft pick in 2000, Gaustad is coming off a solid season that included career highs with 10 goals, 26 assists and 36 points in 82 games.

Also on Tuesday, the Sabres assigned 11 players to the minors and loaned forward Philip Gogulla to Kolner Haie of the German Elite League. Defenseman Tyler Myers, selected 12th overall in this year's draft, was also returned to his Canadian Junior team, Kelowna, of the Western Hockey League.

Demoted to AHL Portland were forwards Tyler Bouck, Jimmy Bonneau, Colton Fretter, Marc-Andre Gragnani, Derek Whitmore, Felix Schutz and Colin Murphy; defensemen Mike Card and Mike Kostka; and goaltenders Jhonas Enroth and Adam Dennis.

Bouck and Bonneau must first clear waivers.

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