In an effort to corner the market on players whose first name begin with the letter "Z", the Buffalo Sabres announced they had claimed forward Zenon Konopka off waivers from MInnesota.
Konopka (1/2/81, 6'0", 213 lbs), who was waived by the Minnesota Wild yesterday, has played in 36 games with Minnesota in 2013-14, recording two points (1+1) and 55 penalty minutes. Konopka, who turned 33 yesterday, was also 157-82 (65.7%) in 239 faceoffs taken with the Wild this season. In Konopka's three previous seasons, he posted a 58.7 faceoff percentage (1,014-712) in 1,726 total draws.
He joined the Wild prior to the 2012-13 season when he signed with the team as a free agent in July 2012.
Prior to the Wild, Konopka played for the Ottawa Senators (2011-12), New York Islanders (2010-11), Tampa Bay Lightning (2008-09 – 2010-11), Columbus Blue Jackets (2006-07 – 2007-08) and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (2005-06). He has notched 29 points (12+17) through 323 career games in the NHL.
A native of nearby Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., Konopka began his NHL career after stints in the American Hockey League, the ECHL and the Ontario Hockey League.