Does Zach Bogosian have a future with the Sabres?

June 11, 2018
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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - With Zach Bogosian coming off another injury and another surgery, let’s take a look at him moving forward.

Bogosian is worthy of his nomination for the NHL’s King Clancy award as he very much cares about kids and his community. He is not just an athlete that does things for show, he and his wife Bianca want to try to make a difference.

The Atlanta Thrashers made Bogosian the third overall pick of the 2008 Entry Draft behind Drew Doughty of the Kings and Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos.

Some of the defensemen taken after Bogosian were Alex Pietrangelo fourth, Luke Schenn fifth, Tyler Myers by the Sabres 12th, Erik Karlsson 15th, Jake Gardiner 17th, Luca Sbisa 19th, Mike Del Zotto 20th, John Carlson 27th, Roman Josi 38th, Justin Schultz 43rd, Travis Hamonic 53rd, Marco Scandella 55th, Mike Stone 69th, T.J. Brodie 114th, Mark Borowiecki 139th, Jared Spurgeon 156th and Jason Demers 186th.

Bogosian came to Buffalo along with Evander Kane in the Myers deal. The problem with the 27-year-old defenseman is he’s only been healthy in one season and that was way back with Atlanta in 2009-10 when he only missed one game.

Bogosian split time between the Thrashers and the AHL during his rookie season. Since then, his games played have been 81, 71, 65, 33 (48 game season), 55, 62, 64, 56 and 18. That means in the last three seasons with Buffalo, Bogosian has been injured for 108 games. The reality is I’m not sure Bogosian has ever played a game with the Sabres were he hasn’t played hurt. The defenseman said, “It’s been a while since I’ve been healthy. You try your best to take care of yourself, but it’s the nature of the game.”

Bogosian is an excellent skater and if he’s right, can join the play. That’s what excited Phil Housley about him during training camp, but Bogosian had two injuries this year and hip surgery ended his season.

Bogosian just has had no luck in his career with injuries, but he tries to just keep going, “I’ve had a tough go of it, but I try to remain positive.

“The group of guys here have tried to help me through some pretty dark days, but saying that, nobody wants surgery, but I’m glad I got it done so I can come back healthy and ready to go next year.”

Housley thought enough of Bogosian to make him one of the four alternate captains. It’s hard to be a leader when you’re hurt and not in the room all that much. He said, he still feels that he can be a big part of this team moving forward, “I do, I was in a little bit of a different position this year with being injured and having surgery, but I tried my best to be around the guys, so I’m just trying to do my part to try to be a leader and try to be a good teammate."

When Jason Botterill acquired Nate Beaulieu from Montreal, Bogosian was the first one to contact the new defenseman and he showed him around his new city.

The prevailing thing said after this season is each player has to figure out what they can do to make this team better. Bogosian said, “I think as a group we need to find our consistency. I’m sure you hear a lot of guys say that, but we’ve just got to make sure that every single day when you come to work, you’ve got to understand that to win in this league, it has to be consistent.”

It’s very difficult to try to figure out what to do with Bogosian. He has two years left on a contract that costs $5,142,857 against the salary cap. If Botterill wanted to buy him out, it would cost $2 million per season for four years and count $1,142,857 against the cap in the first two years and $2 million against the cap in the final two years.

The Sabres are already paying Cody Hodgson through 2022-23. They get a salary cap credit this season of $458,333, but for the next four seasons after, he counts $791,667 against the cap. With all that in mind, I’m just not convinced that a buyout is feasible.

So in the end, with the injuries, I’m not sure there would be much of a trade market, so it’ll be interesting to see what Botterill might do.

On June 22, the Sabres will draft Rasmus Dahlin first overall. If there are no more moves made to the defense, that would put Dahlin with Bogosian, Rasmus Ristolainen, Marco Scandella, Brendan Guhle, Lawrence Pilut, Casey Nelson, Jake McCabe, Nate Beaulieu and for now, Victor Antipin.

I really don’t think they’ll all be here when training camp starts, but that’s what’s going to make the next two months so interesting.