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Sharpen Up: July 2, 2018

What you need to know after a busy Sunday

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Yesterday will be one of those "Do You Remember Where You Were When…?" days for Sabres fans. General manager Jason Botterill kicked Sunday off by adding four free agents. And before everyone went to bed, he acquired three forwards and two draft picks from the Blues for Ryan O'Reilly.

Here's what you need to know.


Let's start with the trade

At 9 p.m., it was official. Tage Thompson, Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Sobotka were coming into the Sabres organization with a 2019 first-round pick (that is Top 10 protected, according to Blues GM Doug Armstrong) and a 2021 second-round pick for O'Reilly. 

Jason Botterill addressed the media last night: 
"We felt that, in our meetings at the end of last season as a management group, we had to change the dynamic," Botterill said. "The bottom line was, there's a lot of great people in that locker room, but when you finish 31st you have to look to make changes.

"That's why we felt there was a good balance in making this move. We felt there were some good pieces for the future, we thought we were bringing in young players that can grow with our other young players who are part of our core and bringing in veteran players who can help our young players in those situations."

The Sabres could now have up to three first-round picks in next year's NHL Draft. In addition to their own pick and the one they acquired from St. Louis, the Sabres will also receive a first-round pick from San Jose if the Sharks qualify for the playoffs next season (otherwise, the Sharks can retain the pick until 2020).

Read more from Botterill here. 


On the free agent signings

Buffalo added unrestricted free agents Carter Hutton, Scott Wilson and Scott Wedgewood. They also signed defenseman Brandon Hickey to an entry-level contract.

We have a lot on Hutton, including a quick intro to him and his stats, thoughts from goalie coach Andrew Allen, and his reaction to the deal (spoiler alert: he's very excited). 

We have Botteril's take on the signings here.

What do you need know about Wedgewood, who will likey start a bulk of the games in Rochester? He's the guy who had the David Puddy mask. 

Tweet from @wedgewall: Talking about the puddy mask. Video coming shortly. @AlbanyDevils @paddywarbucks #gottasupporttheteam

Did you miss the French Connection Tournament highlights?

Video: 2018 French Connection Tournament Highlights
And here's the recap of the action. 

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