Now things for the Buffalo Sabres finally get interesting. Ville Leino is cleared and ready to enter the lineup for Saturday’s afternoon tilt against the Ottawa Senators.
The only problem is, the 23 man roster is full. Leino is a late season addition for the Buffalo Sabres – a high priced “trade deadline” acquisition type player who has been sidelined since training camp with an injury. If the Buffalo Sabres do get to make a push for the playoffs, Leino could be a key contributor because he has the freshest legs.
It could also be detrimental for the team, if he can’t get his timing right for the game. Sure he has been practicing, but most players will tell you its nothing like getting onto the ice during a game.
Who do you move to make room for Leino on your bench? You could easily send Brian Flynn back down to Rochester, thank him for his time and let him know not to get to comfy or unpack too much. His play as of late warrants the kid get some more looks. Don’t tell that to Adam Pardy though – despite his continued good play on the Buffalo Sabres blue line, he continues to take the 45 minute drive between Buffalo and Rochester everytime there is a blip on the backend and interim head coach Ron Rolston needs a hand.
You could still send Marcus Foligno back to Rochester. What will that do to the kids confidence though? He excelled last year and has hopefully just found his sea legs. Sending him to Rochester could have him regress.
It’s time to crack the knuckles Darcy and get to work. Now is the time to add by subtraction and get a trade done that will set Buffalo up for the future. It is time to move Jochen Hecht even for a later round pick. It’s time to look at Jason Pominville and Jordan Leopold and see what you can get for the future. You make room on your roster for Ville Leino, and you prepare for the future all at the same time.
You could also take two of your veteran players that you think will clear waivers and try and sneak them back down to Rochester. Jochen Hecht would be a candidate for that, as well as Kevin Porter - as pointed out on Hockey Buzz. The odds of them making it through to Rochester are good, but there is the off chance that a team that might be interested in them that didn’t want to pay what you were asking is drooling over the fact that you now have more players than you know what to do with.