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New York Islanders trade Johnny Boychuk’s rights to Buffalo Sabres

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Feb 19, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) before the game against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 19, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) before the game against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders traded the rights to retired defenseman Johnny Boychuk to the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday in exchange for future considerations.

Boychuk, 37, has not played since March 3, 2020 due to an eye injury. He was struck by a skate and needed 90 stitches to repair a cut above his eyelid.

Boychuk is in the final year of a seven-year contract that carries an annual cap hit of $6 million. He has been on long-term injured reserve since January.

The Sabres said the move helps them remain salary-cap compliant in the wake of Thursday morning’s trade that sent Jack Eichel to the Vegas Golden Knights for Peyton Krebs, Alex Tuch and two draft picks.

“This move is important because it gives us flexibility throughout the season from a roster perspective,” Buffalo general manager Kevyn Adams said. “There are different conversations that we’ve had with many teams. The key for us was to give us flexibility without compromising where our current roster stands.”

Boychuk, a second-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche in 2002, had his best individual seasons with the Islanders, including a career-high 35 points (nine goals, 26 assists) in 2014-15. His best team success came during his six seasons with the Boston Bruins. He was a regular on the 2011 Stanley Cup championship team that won Boston’s first title since 1972.

In a 725-game NHL career, Boychuk had 54 goals, 152 assists and a plus-123 rating.

–Field Level Media