With the preseason crawling to its inevitable conclusion, the Buffalo Sabres have sent seven players to the AHL Rochester Americans, whose training camp started on Monday. Those seven players are:
Forwards: Joel Armia, Tim Schaller, Matt Ellis (pending waivers)
Defensemen: Nick Petrecki, Drew Bagnall (pending waivers)
Goaltenders: Andrey Makarov, Nathan Lieuwen
None of the players sent down were major surprises, though Tim Schaller impressed Sabres coaches enough to force his way into the preseason lineup. Matt Ellis has cleared waivers once before, and I can't imagine any team desperate for Drew Bagnall's services, so they should clear no problem.
The big pair from this wave of cuts are the goaltenders - Makarov and Lieuwen should be the Amerks combo in net, and with both men impressing in Rochester last year, the job will likely depend on who has the stronger preseason showing. Their development this season will be critical should neither Jhonas Enroth or Michal Neuvirth impress this season. The injured Matt Hackett should be back sometime around December.
Another interesting development in this round of cuts is the fact that Mikhail Grigorenko and Sam Reinhart are both still with the Sabres. Who knows if they'll survive the final roster trimming, but for now each player gets at least one more game to impress the coaching staff.