It's like Christmas Day for many NHL hockey fans today, as we begin free agency across the league.

Starting at noon today, any unrestricted free agent could agree and sign with any team. It's typically a day that features plenty of fast-flying news and moving parts.

The Buffalo Sabres have cap space and some needs, but many expect the team to not go crazy on the free agent market.

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General manager Kevyn Adams did make a signing about 40 minutes into the free agency period, as Bob McKenzie of TSN reports Buffalo has signed defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin.

Lyubushkin split time last season with the Arizona Coyotes and Toronto Maple Leafs after he was traded to Toronto.

The 28-year-old Russian defenseman is not a point producer, but he delivers plenty of hits to opposing forwards and provides toughness and grit to a team's blueline. He won't get into fights or try and mix things up, but he isn't afraid to throw around his 6'2'', 2010 lbs frame.

Lyubushkin will likely be a bottom-pair defenseman for the Sabres and potentially be a healthy scratch some nights. He will fill the role Robert Hagg had here in Buffalo last season. He's a depth signing for Adams and Don Granato.

I do think it's good to get more tough along the backend and I do like the player, but he's not someone who will be flashy or take ice time away from a more talented defenseman.

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