Pouliot secured a one-year, $1.15 million contract with the Sabres on Saturday, Bob McKenzie of TSN reports. Pouliot was bought out of the remaining two years of his previous contract with the Oilers following a campaign in which he totaled just 14 points over 67 games for the club. The fourth overall pick in 2005, Pouliot 's 2016-17 campaign was a major disappointment, but he will look to get back on track following a change of scenery to earn another long-term deal. For now, he will settle for a one-year tryout with the Sabres. It's still a guess where Pouliot might slot into the lineup, but he will most likely play a bottom-six role and provide a much-needed veteran presence up front. His ability to play both wings competently gives new coach Phil Housley a lot of flexibility in his lineup. Fantasy-wise, Pouliot is only a thought in very deep leagues.
Pouliot was placed on waivers by Edmonton on Thursday in order to buy him out of his contract. The move to buy out Pouliot will save the Oilers $2.6 million over the next two seasons before costing them $1.3 million in cap space from 2019-21. The 30-year-old saw his ice time drop by two minutes compared to the prior year and was only able to record eight goals and six helpers. It's unlikely that a club will step up to take the full burden of the Ontario native's deal, but he could find a new home once he clears waivers. Pouliot never played 70 games in a season during his time in Edmonton, which could be a red flag for fantasy owners, but those willing to take a risk might wind up with a 30-plus-point scorer -- depending on where he lands.
Pouliot played just 11:49 in Edmonton's Game 3 loss to Anaheim on Sunday. Pouliot has yet to record a point through nine postseason games and is rarely seeing more than 12 minutes of ice time in games that don't go to overtime. His value is extremely limited until he proves otherwise.
Pouliot (undisclosed) said Thursday that he is feeling good and healthy and will likely slot back into the Oilers' lineup for Friday night's showdown with the Penguins. While it can sometimes be risky to take players at their own word regarding injuries, the Oilers have been cautious with Pouliot's timetable, so there's no reason to think he won't be ready to go Friday after a 10-game absence. All the same, the winger has just three assists and a minus-3 rating since the calendar turned to 2017, so he isn't much of a fantasy asset in most formats.
Pouliot (undisclosed) has been cleared for contact and "getting quite close to returning," per Oilers coach Todd McLellan. While the low-end fantasy winger won't play Tuesday against the Islanders, he appears poised to come back with the Penguins in town Friday. Pouliot is good for the occasional goal or assist -- he's scored five times with just as many helpers in 51 games this season -- but the 30-year-old is caught in a bottom-six role, and that's not an ideal situation for such an enigmatic player.
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