Buffalo Sabres sign three-year affiliation deal with AHL Portland

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BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Buffalo Sabres have a new American Hockey League affiliate after signing a three-year deal with Maine's Portland Pirates on Tuesday.

The Pirates take over after the Sabres ended a 29-year relationship with Rochester. Portland had spent the past three years as the Anaheim Ducks' affiliate.

The Pirates should benefit from the Sabres' recent string of signings.

Buffalo has bolstered its minor-league depth this off-season by signing several prospects, including forward Nathan Gerbe, who helped Boston College win the NCAA title this past year, Michigan State forward Tim Kennedy and Swedish goalie Jhonas Enroth, Buffalo's 2006 second-round draft pick.