Buffalo Sabres Matt Hunwick Ruled Out Due to Neck Injury

Matt Hunwick
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 16: Matt Hunwick #48 of the Buffalo Sabres is called for interference against Ryan Donato #17 of the Boston Bruins in the first period of the game between the Boston Bruins and the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on December 16, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The Buffalo Sabres announced defenceman Matt Hunwick is sidelined for indefinitely with a neck injury. Sabres general manager Jason Botterill made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon.

Matt Hunwick Likely Out for Season

Hunwick’s status was announced when Botterill told the results of off-season medical evaluations. The Warren, Mich. native suffered an injury last summer and missed the opening two months of the 2018-19 season. He only played in 14 games last season and had only two assists. His Corsi for was 46.5 and had a relative Corsi of -5.4.

The 34-year-old has played for the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres in his 12-year NHL career. He has 25 goals and 94 assists for 119 career points in 535 career games. Boston originally selected Hunwick in the seventh round, 224th overall of the 2004 NHL Draft.

He returned to the lineup in December against Boston, but was a healthy scratch for most games. Hunwick missed the rest of the season because of an undisclosed upper-body injury.

What This Means for the Future

Buffalo will likely put Hunwick on long-term injured reserve and save $1.75 million. The team would have been $1 million over the $81.5 million salary cap. Hunwick is in the final year of his contract and has likely played his last game for the team. He could be near the end of his career as he’s 34.

The Sabres improved their defence in the off-season and it looks like Hunwick is one of the odd men out. Botterill got Colin Miller from the Vegas Golden Knights and Henri Jokiharju from the Chicago Blackhawks via trades. Botterill also re-signed restricted free agent defenceman Jake McCabe to a two-year contract.

Buffalo currently holds the longest post-season drought of eight years. The Sabres have been active in free agency to end that dubious streak.

BOSTON, MA – DECEMBER 16: Matt Hunwick #48 of the Buffalo Sabres is called for interference against Ryan Donato #17 of the Boston Bruins in the first period of the game between the Boston Bruins and the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on December 16, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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