It's an interesting move to say the least but the Buffalo Sabres claimed Matt Ellis off of waivers from the Los Angeles Kings. As I pointed out yesterday, it looked like there were plenty of forwards to fill roster spots. Ellis is a guy that will certainly bring some energy to the team but he is not going to scare anyone with his offensive potential. In a total of 70 NHL games he has scored a total of three goals but he is very good in his zone. It's no secret that the Sabres struggled in the defensive zone last year, this may be a move that will help.
There could be numerous reasons the Sabres claimed him off of waivers.
- It is possible that the injury to Adam Mair is much more serious than we have been led to believe. Ellis would be a perfect fit on the fourth line, either on the Wing or at Center.
- He could be a temporary fix for the injury to Gaustad, instead of bringing up a young guy like Gerbe. As good as some of the young guys have looked the coaching staff is probably not convinced they will be effective in their own zone.
- The Sabres may have claimed him and they are hoping they can sneak him through waivers to assign him to Portland. It's clear that the Pirates roster is far from complete and the Sabres are trying to stock the team with a mix of veterans and rookies.
- There could be a trade in the works involving a forward or some forwards on the team. Darcy Regier stated in the off-season that trading Afinogenov was a real possibility, it is possible that it will now become reality.
It's going to be interesting to see what happens next with this team. I assume that we will see more players sent to Portland on Friday and we will basically see the opening day lineup on the ice Sunday in Detroit.