Buffalo Sabres forward Paul Gaustad underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb and will be out at least three to four weeks.
The operation likely rules Gaustad out of Buffalo's season opener on Oct. 10 against Montreal.
Gaustad, entering his fourth NHL season, was hurt during a fight in Buffalo's 2-1 shootout loss to Minnesota on Sunday.
The rugged forward is coming off a season in which he set career highs in goals (10), assists (26) and games played (82) for the Sabres.
A seventh-round choice of Buffalo's in 2000, the rugged forward has 28 goals and 82 points in 215 NHL games.
Also on Tuesday, the Sabres assigned 10 players to the minors and loaned forward Philip Gogulla to Kolner Haie of the German Elite League.