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Mr. MoJo Risin’

July 6, 2019, 10:06 AM ET [20 Comments]
GARTH'S CORNER
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Stockholm on Lake Erie has added yet another Swede.

Marcus Johansson is now a member of the Buffalo Sabres. Johansson joins fellow Swedes Rasmus Dahlin, Linus Ullmark, Lawrence Pilut, Victor Olofsson, Johan Larsson, Alex Nylander, and Rasmus Asplund in Buffalo.

Jason Botterill signed the shifty Johansson to a two-year, $9 million contract.

After six days on the unrestricted free agency market, the Sabres acquired the veteran forward to add even strength secondary scoring and leadership to their top nine forward group.

Johansson made his bones playing the first six seasons of his NHL career with the Washington Capitals.

Johansson spent last season played 58 games for the New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins, scoring 13 goals and 17 assists.

Johansson will slot in nicely into Buffalo’s top nine forward group. I see Johansson pairing with Casey Mittelstadt on the third line. Johansson also plays power play and penalty kill.


Johansson l, who plays all three forward positions, scored 4 goals and 7 helpers in 22 Stanley Cup Playoff games for the Bruins.

“MoJo” was chosen by the Washington Capitals 24th overall at the 2009 NHL Draft.

Johansson has scored 120 goals and 214 assists in 588 regular-season games with the Bruins, Devils and Capitals, and has 41 points (13 goals, 28 assists) in 94 playoff games.















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Please forgive Buffalo Sabres fans.

Taylor Swift's lyrics "This is why we can't have nice things", are resonating in the hearts and minds of Sabres loyalists today.

Try as they might to build a playoff contending team, the Buffalo Sabres are in need of a dollop of good luck. Eight years and counting of missing the Stanley Cup playoffs has been a jagged pill for Sabreland to gulp down.

Sabres GM Jason Botterill went to the NHL Draft in Vancouver in search of a difference-making center who can add immediate value and production to the Buffalo offense.

With the seventh overall pick, Botterill selected Dylan Cozens, the slick playmaking center from the Lethbridge Hurricanes.


In 68 games last season, Cozens (6’3”, 180 lbs.) scores 34 goals and added 50 helpers. Cozens is exactly the player the doctor order for the struggling Sabres. Cozens will win draws, play the body, hold on to pucks, set up his line mates and chip in with buckeofts tucks of his own. Nice player who is in need of adding musculature to his long, lean frame. Cozens is known for his fast hands and faster feet. Prior to last month’s NHL Draft, scouts raved about Cozens’ ability process the game. He’s a sticky player. The puck sticks to his twig like a marshmallow to the bottom of your flip flop.

Last weekend, Cozens was dealt a major setback while at Sabres Development Camp. The shiny new center was left with a broken thumb after he collided with a Rochester Amerks defenseman Brandon Hickey. It was a hockey play with no malice intended. Hickey, ana AHL vet, seized the opportunity to drop the first round pick with an old school hip check. Cozens will now require two to three months to recover from the surgical procedure he underwent on the thumb a few days ago.




Sabres fans are bummed. They badly wanted to see Cozens compete and earn a nine-game tryout with the Sabres at the conclusion of training camp in September.


Cozens was hoping he would earn a roster spot on Team Canada’s 2020 World Junior Hockey Championships squad. His surgically repaired thumb will not heal in time for Cozens to participate in Team Canada activities and tryout camps this summer.

Meanwhile, Botterill continues his quest to add another veteran center to his roster. It's early July and there are a few veteran centers available on the UFA market. Botterill isn't interested in pursuing the UFA options. Botterill wants young, skilled, high character players who are cost-controlled. Botterill currently is in trade mode. He has assets at his disposal in the form of draft choices and roster players. Botterill has dine well for himself by making smart trades in the summertime. See Jeff Skinner, Conor Sheary and Jimmy Vesey.


Which veteran centers is Botterill focusing on as trade targets for the Sabres?


Philadelphia Flyers pivot Sean Couturier is still an option. Colorado Avalanche pivots J.T. Compher and Tyson Jost are still linked to the Sabres. I'm also hearing the names of Winnipeg Jets centers Jack Roslovic and Andrew Copp. Arizona Coyotes centers Derek Stepan and Christian Dvorak are also options.
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