The Sabres can't block the signing, because their season officially ended two weeks ago when the NHL approved going ahead with a 24-team expanded playoff format, which eliminated Buffalo. Because Pilut was eligible to become a restricted free agent, the Sabres can still retain his NHL rights through the next three years by issuing him a qualifying offer.
The 24-year-old Swedish-born player spent the past two years splitting time between the Sabres and their minor-league affiliate. Pilut had no points while limited to playing 13 games with Buffalo last season under first-year coach Ralph Krueger.
Overall, he had a goal and six points in 46 NHL career games, and 10 goals, 49 points in 67 games with AHL Rochester. The playmaking, undersized defenseman was a highly touted free agent when he signed with Buffalo two years ago. The 5-foot-11 Pilut made the jump to the NHL following a season in which he was the Swedish Hockey League’s defenseman of the year after leading blue liners with 30 assists and 38 points.
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