And so it begins; the remaking of the Buffalo Sabres under general manager Jason Botterill.  The team announced today it has signed Russian defenseman Victor Antipin (pronounced An-TEE-pin).  The 24-year old enters the NHL with a one-year entry-level contract. 

“Victor is a well-rounded defenseman who has played in all situations at the pro level,” Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill said. “His mobility and puck-moving skills make him a perfect match for what we’re hoping to build with our defense corps next season.”

A native of Kazakhstan, Antipin has played with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL for the past seven seasons winning two championships along the way.  He was selected to the 2013 KHL All-Star team and won the league's Gentleman on the Ice award.

Antipin has also represented Russia in five international tournaments including the last three IIHF World Championships winning a silver medal and two bronze.  He also won a silver at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

One of the major flaws with the Sabres has been their defense and its inability to clear the puck out of its own end and to move it up ice.  Antipin is viewed as one of the keys to that.  Certainly not the solution, but a big part of what they've been looking for.