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Photo Credit: © John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Ilya Lyubushkin signs with the Sabres on a two-year deal

One of the Leafs’ trade-deadline acquisitions has made the move to a divisional rival.

Bob McKenzie added that @Ilya Lyubishkin’s deal with the Sabres is two years and is valued at $2.75 million AAV.

Lyubushkin arrived in Toronto as the result of Nick Ritchie failing to live up to expectations through the first five months of the season. The Coyotes took him on along with a conditional draft pick in exchange for Lyubushkin and Ryan Dzingel in a February trade.

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He was not brought in to add some offensive punch to the backend, as he would only score six points in 31 games played after the trade along with a single assist in seven postseason games. But Lyubushkin added that snarl and physical element that was sorely missed after Zach Bogosian left in the summer of 2021 to rejoin the Lightning.

It obviously would have been nice to bring him back as a third pairing or seventh defenceman, but the contract he got from Buffalo was a hefty one and the best action was to let him walk. Now it will be up to Kyle Dubas to find the next Lyubushkin in free agency or within the organization.

Best of luck with the Sabres, Boosh!

Stats from Hockey-Reference.com and Natural Stat Trick.

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Salary information from PuckPedia.com.

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