Final Sabres Cut Between Girgensons, Larsson and Flynn

The 2013-2014 NHL season is right around the corner and the Buffalo Sabres have a few tough decisions to make before they finalize their roster ahead of Monday. As it stands right now, the Sabres have 24 players left on their roster and will need to cut one more person before the Monday deadline. The Sabres need to make one final cut and it will be one of Zemgus Girgensons, Johan Larsson or Brian Flynn.

With Joel Armia and Corey Tropp on injured reserve, it saves the Sabres from making a few tough decisions but they still have one more cut to go. Now you may be thinking that the Sabres have to send either Zemgus Girgensons or Johan Larsson down or risk losing Brian Flynn to waivers, but thankfully Flynn doesn’t have to clear waivers.

Both Girgensons and Larsson have had solid camp’s with the Sabres and have shown tremendous upside. The question becomes whether

Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

they (specifically Girgensons) are ready for an NHL stint. While Flynn doesn’t have the upside of the other two, he does have some NHL experience and doesn’t need much more time in the AHL. What you see is what you get with Flynn, not too much is going to change in his development.

Of the three, Larsson has shown that he’s the most ready for the NHL and has the best upside to date. He’s a versatile centreman, solid at the dot and can play in all situations. There’s not much to dislike about Larsson’s game and it’s always a good sign when a players former team is quite upset they lost him. Johan Larsson is the perfect third line centre for the Sabres and with his talent and the solid camp he’s had, he’s pretty much earned a spot on the Sabres.

Next we move to Girgensons. Out of any of the players on the Sabres, Girgensons had the best camp and played like a little firecracker. Anytime a player like Girgensons can combine with a player like Mikhail Grigorenko to produce, things are good. The two 2012 first round draft picks, together on a line could be lethal! Girgensons has worked hard to show the Sabres he’s ready and it shows, he looks more than ready for a stint in the NHL. Could some time in the AHL help him? It definitely could, but if the Sabres are rebuilding they might as well let the rookies develop in the NHL.

That leaves the Sabres with Flynn. Now Flynn isn’t exactly a horrible prospect, he looked solid when the Sabres called him up after the

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

lockout and signed a two-year deal to remain with the club. While he had a solid stint with the Sabres, he could still use some more time to develop before emerging to a 3rd or 4th line centre. The good thing with Flynn is that he doesn’t have to clear waivers to go back down to Rochester and since he isn’t quite at the level Girgensons and Larsson are he’s likely to get the short end of the stick.

Now yesterday at practice Larsson didn’t participate in any line rushes, which could mean the Sabres already have an idea of sending him to Rochester. Both of the rookies deserve a spot on the Sabres opening night roster after their play from the Traverse city tournament right through to the end of training camp.

Will Ron Rolston go with obvious choice in sending Flynn down or will he surprise by sending one of Girgensons or Larsson down? Who do you think should go down?

Topics: Brian Flynn, Buffalo Sabres, Johan Larsson, Zemgus Girgensons

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  • Kevin

    Brian Flynn for now. We already know what he can do, let’s see what the other guys can do. if one of them falters, then bring Flynn back up.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      That’s a good point… we already know what he can do let’s see what the other can

  • Ben Chalker

    Tough call, but it kind of depends on what you’re doing with the rest of your forward group. Which of the three least fits the game plan.
    I don’t know what Rolston is planning, who is going to play with whom to begin with so it’s tough to say which one is unfortunately not going to fill the role required.

    • Ben Chalker

      It’s a good problem to have though if we’re honest.

      “Which of these talented and promising kids do we not get to keep for this stage of our rebuild…”
      good problem to have.

      • Caitlin Campbell

        Fantastic problem to have going forward for the Sabres. Lots of talented young players coming up

  • qwicwted

    I would suggest Flynn for now – let the youngsters play.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Flynn is still young but I see your point.

      • GuyOnABuffalo

        Larsson and Girgensons both have much higher ceilings than Flynn and are no worse than him right now. I don’t see Flynn getting much, if any, better.

  • Jes

    Ok I’ll put it this way. Larsson doesn’t go down. If Girgensons stays up and is only being played on the 4th line then send him down instead. If we are actually playing him consistent mins with good line mates (unlike what we did with Grigorenko) then let him stay up. Otherwise send him down until trade deadline day where we may see Stafford, Ennis and Vanek all gone.

    I’m not sure on this but does Girgensons play wing? Larsson is a center correct?

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Girgensons can play both wing and centre but Larsson is strictly centre.
      I like your plan, let him get some valuable time down in the AHL

      • GuyOnABuffalo

        Girgensons is a center that can play wing. He’d rather play wing. I am 100% ok with him being on the 4th line because he brings all the qualities you want from a 4th liner, plus he is good at hockey. Other teams have put their top prospects on the 4th line before and let them work up. Girgs is the perfect person to do this with, both mentality and style of play-wise.

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