Published by hockeybuzz.com, 10-01-2016
The Buffalo Sabres announced this morning that they've pared their roster to 33 players. Among those sent to the Rochester Americans were Justin Bailey and William Carrier, two players who many thought would be amongst the last to be sent down.
Camp surprise Derek Grant has had a tremendous preseason thus far remains with the club as he's had a tremendous preseason thus far. In three games the 26 yr. old has scored four points on two goals and two assists while being responsible for the only Sabres tally last night in an ugly 8-1 loss vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs at KeyBank Center in Buffalo. Here's what head coach Dan Bylsma said of Grant after his three-point performance in a 3-2 OT win against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday. “He’s a real big man, and he can skate and move around,” Bylsma told the gathered media post-game. “He’s excellent positionally, smart-wise. There’s been a determination with the way he’s played, and I think it’s been evident.
“As a player who’s new to our organization, he wants to come in and prove what kind of player he is. He’s certainly done that.”
Grant was drafted by Buffalo GM Tim Murray when he was assistant general manager of the Ottawa Senators. The 2008 fourth-round pick has spent the majority of his career at the AHL-level appearing in 173 games scoring 55 goals and adding 47 assists. Last year Grant was having a breakout season playing for the Stockton Heat with 45 points (27 goals + 18 assists) before fracturing his jaw on February 9th. He played in 15 games total for the Calgary Flames last season but was without a point. In 40 total NHL games Grant has zero goals and only three assists.
From the looks of the cuts, Murray and company seem to be laying their foundation in Rochester early. The Amerks opened camp this morning looking for a fresh start with new head coach Dan Lambert behind the bench after a disaster of a 2015-16 season . Lambert spent last season as an assistant to Bylsma.
Among the many who headed to Rochester for this morning's practice are Bailey and Carrier, two big bodies who've combined to play in 189 regular season games for the Amerks. The 21 yr. old Bailey had a strong finish to his rookie campaign and ended up scoring 20 goals while adding 25 assists in 70 games. He got eight games with the big club but was held off the scoresheet.
Carrier has played two seasons in Rochester but injuries limited him both years. He's another one that came on strong late last season as he finished with 13 goals and 17 assists in 56 games.
Some Amerks vets joining those two are forwards Jean Dupuy, Evan Rodrigues, Justin Kea, and defenseman Brady Austin. Forwards Daniel Catenacci and Cole Schneider will need to clear waivers. Four rookies headed to Rochester: forwards Eric Cornel, Vaclav Karabacek; defenseman Brycen Martin; goaltender Jason Kasdorf.
Sabres PR also announced that five players have been released from their tryouts and will report to Rochester for training camp: Forwards Matthew Lane and Daniel Muzito-Begenda; defensemen Mac Bennett and Paul Geiger; goaltender John Muse.
Rochester has a home-and-home preseason set with the Binghamton Senator October 6th and 8th and will open up their season Friday October 14th at home against the Hershey Bears.