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.
Ok, Sabres say Flynn does not need waivers to go down. So that leaves Flynn, Girgensons and Larsson eligible for Amerks.
— John Vogl (@BuffNewsVogl) September 29, 2013
Both Girgensons and Larsson have had solid camp’s with the Sabres and have shown tremendous upside. The question becomes whether
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
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?