Gritty Forward Mathieu Darche has agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the Buffalo Sabres. Darche decided between Buffalo and Ottawa, and chose the Sabres because, as he stated in an interview with Lindsay Kramer of the Syracuse Post-Standard,
"I figured that's where I'll have a good chance. Lindy Ruff is a lot like (ex-Tampa Bay coach) John Tortorella. You get what you deserve. I decided the fit was good in Buffalo, and I liked the talk I had with (Sabres GM) Darcy Regier.''
Darche, will turn 32 this season, is 6-1, 215. Darche played 73 games last season, had seven goals, 15 assists and was only -14 (in Tampa, -14 is good, look it up!) in plus minus. He also chipped in 20 penalty minutes, was third on Tampa in hits with 125, averaged 15 minutes of ice time and was seventh among Tampa forwards in total penalty kill minutes with 86.
He has spent time with San Jose, Nashville, and Columbus but mostly with their AHL teams. As previously mentioned, he spent last season with Tampa Bay, and after the trade deadline, he played enforcer on a line with Vincent LeCavalier. With the Sabres, Darche will be battling with Patrick Kaleta and Andrew Peters for fourth line duties.
He is a long shot to make the team, due to his two way contract status and the Sabres' ability to ship him back to Portland. However, this may mark the merciful end of Sabres fan's least favorite fighter Andrew Peters' time in Buffalo, if Darche does impress in camp.
If Darche does beat out Peters, the Sabres can attempt to waive Peters and if he clears (which he should), send him to Portland. Mathieu's brother is Kansas City Chiefs long snapper JP Darche.
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