Sabres sign Stafford to multi-year deal

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 1:25 AM ET

BUFFALO - The Buffalo Sabres signed forward Drew Stafford to a multi-year contract on Friday.

Stafford, who was slated to become a restricted free agent this summer, established career highs with 31 goals -- one behind Thomas Vanek for the team lead despite missing 20 games due to injury -- and 52 points in 2010-11. The Wisconsin native's four hat tricks tied him for the most in the NHL.

The 25-year-old Stafford added one goal and two assists in seven playoff games as the Sabres were eliminated in the first round by Philadelphia.

"It was important for us to get Drew locked up," said Buffalo general manager Darcy Regier. "What we saw from Drew this season is exactly what we envisioned when we drafted him. Drew will continue to be an important part of our team in the coming years."

Originally selected 13th overall by Buffalo in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Stafford has 94 goals and 102 assists in 317 career regular-season games.


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