It's been busy at the First Niagara Center as more players have been reassigned to Rochester. Amid all the fiasco generated by the home-and-home series between the Buffalo Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs, six players have been informed that they would not be needed in Buffalo to start the season.
Defenseman Drew Bagnall wasn't expected to make the roster and has been sent down. Veteran AHLer Mike Zigomanis will provide the experience in an otherwise young-looking lineup for the Amerks. Another veteran, Matt Ellis, was also sent down - this was expected as the team is still in rebuilding mode and it made more sense to give his minutes to a youngster up in Buffalo.
Goaltender Matt Hackett needed an outstanding preseason and training camp to beat out Jhonas Enroth to the backup goalie's job in Buffalo. While he was stable and showed some signs of promise, he still needs some more seasoning before being able to make the jump to the NHL.
Then came the less obvious names. Brayden McNabb was also sent back to the Amerks. There was a feeling that this was McNabb's make-or-break season especially with the stable of young defensemen nipping at his heels, and now it looks like the two first round picks from this year's NHL Entry Draft, Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov, are ahead of him in the pecking order. The pair have both been quite impressive in all aspects of the game, adding hitting and scoring points to their repertoire too.
The last name on the list was also a bit of a surprise. Chad Ruhwedel came out of nowhere (actually, UMass-Lowell) to join the Sabres at the tail-end of last season when the year was already lost. He looked like he had done enough in those seven games to earn another look-in, but it was not to be.
Buffalo now has 29 players on the current roster - 18 forwards, 9 defensemen and the 2 goalies.
Forwards: Luke Adam, Joel Armia, Tyler Ennis, Brian Flynn, Marcus Foligno, Zemgus Girgensons, Mikhail Grigorenko, Cody Hodgson, Patrick Kaleta, Johan Larsson, Ville Leino, Cody McCormick, Steve Ott, Kevin Porter, John Scott, Drew Stafford, Corey Tropp, Thomas Vanek
Defensemen: Christian Ehrhoff, Jamie McBain, Tyler Myers, Mark Pysyk, Rasmus Ristolainen, Alexander Sulzer, Henrik Tallinder, Mike Weber, Nikita Zadorov
Goaltenders: Ryan Miller, Jhonas Enroth