Rasmus Ristolainen was recently sent down to the Rochester Americans by the Buffalo Sabres, looking to get the young defenseman some more seasoning before keeping him the National Hockey League long term.
The organization has gone a step further and has loaned him to Team Finland for the upcoming World Juniors tournament.
Ristolainen has two goals and two assists so far with the Amerks this season, and his play in the tournament will also hinge on the defenseman being healthy. Ristolainen was sucker punched by Mitchell Heard of the Lake Erie Monsters towards the end of the game on November 29th.
The punch was no doubt in retaliation for the play of Ristolainen, who was all over the ice, leaning on guys and offering the more often than not punishing body check to any Monster who got in his way.
Erie’s players took exception and were quick to slash and poke at Ristolainen as the game wound down to a close.
Rochester coach Chad Cassidy was not happy with the play, and has sent video of the play to the league for them to look at, as the Amerks are looking for something to come of it.
No doubt the activity on the ice in that game will lead to more fireworks between the two clubs, as they faceoff twice this week, once Wednesday and then again in the Frozen Frontier outdoor game scheduled for Friday.