Buffalo Sabres: Victor Antipin’s season is over

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 07: Victor Antipin
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 07: Victor Antipin /

Victor Antipin’s season with the Buffalo Sabres came to a nasty conclusion, after suffering multiple injuries against the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.

The Buffalo Sabres secured a surprising 7-4 victory against the Nashville Predators on Saturday night. Sam Reinhart scored a hat-trick and Jack Eichel tied a franchise record with five assists, in an impressive display against the top team in the NHL.

However, as you would expect in (yet) another disappointing season for the Swords, it wasn’t all good news. The main talking point of the game unfortunately came towards the end of the second period, when Victor Antipin was smashed into the boards by Scott Hartnell:

The controversial hit from Hartnell was late and from behind. However, for some reason the NHL Department of Player “Safety” has not handed a suspension to the winger.

Of course, of more importance is the health of Antipin, who was stretchered off the ice and taken to hospital. Fortunately, he was released later on that same night.

However, the 25-year-old’s season is over. As per WGR 550‘s Paul Hamilton, he is out indefinitely with a concussion.

In addition, Antipin sustained facial lacerations and a broken nose. And to top it all off, he will require dental work.

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It brings the Russian native’s first season with the Sabres to an unsatisfactory conclusion. There was a lot of anticipation after he signed an entry-level contract in May last year.

At the time of his injury, Antipin ranked third among all Sabres’ defensemen in assists, despite only appearing in 47 games. He also has the third-best plus/minus rating among skaters who played 40 or more games for the team.

Thoughts will undoubtedly now turn to the blue-liner’s future with the team. The contract he signed was for just one season.

Critics may point to Antipin’s lack of goal threat and his need to still add more strength. In addition, he is not exactly the ideal size for a defenseman in the NHL.

However, the 2013 KHL All-Star is consistent, mobile and makes good decisions. He has enough potential that you should expect to see him back in Western New York next season with a new deal.

Next: Jack Eichel perplexed by another lost season

While it will be tough to be objective if you are a Buffalo Sabres’ fans, what is your take on the hit on Antipin? Does Hartnell deserve a suspension or not, and why? In addition, how would you summarize Antipin’s first campaign in Western New York and do you want to see him back next season? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.