Two restricted free agents are going to have Tim Murray’s attention this summer. The Buffalo Sabres general manager said that he’s talked with Tyler Ennis’ agent and has had discussions this week with Marcus Foligno’s agent as well.
Ennis, in his fourth full NHL season, scored a career-high 21 goals in 2013-14 and he became more confident as the season wore on.
On Thursday, Murray shot down the notion that the term and value of Ennis' new contract will be tied to the necessity of reaching the salary cap floor.
“I like his approach to the game. I like his compete level. I like his speed,” Murray said of Ennis. “There’s a lot of things I like about him and if we can do a long-term deal with him then obviously the decision we’ve made is we’d go forward with him.”
The Sabres selected Ennis in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft (26th overall).
ENNIS: "I'M GLAD I GOT 21 BUT I WANT TO GET 30. I WANT TO GET 40."
At his year-end press conference, Murray said that Foligno was contemplating surgery on his shoulder and he confirmed on Thursday that Foligno did in fact go through with a procedure. According to Murray, the injury affected the 22-year-old wing’s play last season.
Foligno finished the year with 19 points and 82 penalty minutes in 74 games.
“He had shoulder surgery which I think hindered his year a little bit this year. So there might be a philosophical difference on what they think he could’ve achieved versus what he did achieve,” Murray told SabresTV’s Brian Duff.
Because of that potential, Murray sees Foligno as a vital piece moving forward.
FOLIGNO STRIVES FOR CONSISTENCY
“I think that Marcus is somebody that we want to go forward with here. He’s a big body with skill,” Murray said. “When we’re looking at the draft or we’re looking at free agency, that’s the type of player we’re trying to acquire. We have him in the organization. We have to work with him.”
Buffalo’s other restricted free agents include forwards Cory Conacher, Luke Adam and Shawn Szydlowski, defensemen Jamie McBain, Chad Ruhwedel, Nick Crawford and Matt MacKenzie and goaltenders Matt Hackett and Connor Knapp.