With a quarter of the season gone by, Portland Pirates forward Maxime Legault now has some certainty as to where he’ll be spending the rest of this season.
It was announced on Friday that Legault was signed to an AHL contract by the Buffalo Sabres.
Legault, a native of St. Agathe, QC, was originally signed to a PTO (professional try-out agreement), which last for 25 games. The Pirates and Sabres had several options which included signing him to another PTO, however, after that agreement expired, the team would either have to sign him to a standard player’s contract or release him to the open market.
The other options were to sign him to an NHL entry-level contract or release him out right, but neither option were likely to happen.
The Pirates are too shorthanded to lose a forward they’ve had on the roster since the start of camp, and being a draft pick of the Sabres (7th round #194 overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft), the Sabres opted not to sign him last summer when they had the option.
In 22 games, the 6-2, 196-pound forward has scored a goal and two assists for the Pirates will putting up 55 minutes in penalty minutes. Since the loss of Travis Turnbull, Pirates head coach Kevin Dineen has been giving Legault more minutes, filling the role of a grinding forward.
Legault played three seasons and the part of a fourth year with the Shawinigan Cataractes before being traded to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL where he played alongside Pirates teammates Jacob Lagace and Luke Adam, who is currently with the Sabres.
The rookie forward played 193 games in the QMJHL where he scored 58 goals, 54 assists for 112 points. In 2008-’09, he set career highs in goal (28), assists (16) and points (44) along with adding 13 points (10G, 3A) in 21 playoff games with Shawinigan.