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Defensemen In the Pipeline

by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres

March 19, 2007

Last year, the Buffalo Sabres were forced to use rookie defenseman in the later parts of the playoffs due to injuries. Buffalo bolstered their backend with veteran experience by picking up two defensemen at the trade deadline.

The team first traded for Timo Helbling, along with Dainius Zubrus, from the Washington Capitals in exchange for Jiri Novotny and a first-round pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, and then acquired Mikko Lehtonen from the Nashville Predators for a fifth-round draft pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Since the trades, both defensemen have been playing in Rochester with the Americans. Lehtonen, a native of Finland, has picked up six assists in nine games. Helbling, the Switzerland native, has registered two assists with 27 penalty minutes in seven games.

The duo is adjusting to the style of play that the Amerks and Sabres are running in case they are needed come playoff time. They just want to help out the Sabres organization any way possible.
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