Grading the Sabres: Role Players

Next on the report card list are role players and a few re-calls from Rochester.

Patrick Kaleta – B-

Kaleta had another rough and tumble season in which he dealt with injuries and suspensions. He was effective playing his gritty style, although the offense wasn’t where it was a few seasons ago when he was an ideal third line grinder.

As an RFA, I wonder if Kaleta could be on his way out the door. At some point Darcy Regier will probably start trimming a few dollars here and there to keep his top six at an elite level. Many teams do this in one way or another. While Kaleta fills a valuable spot, he could be deemed expendable.

For what it’s worth, Kaleta would be very difficult to replace. He had another great year blocking shots and being very defensively responsible. Those types of forwards are tough to come by, which could be a primary reason Kaleta is back for next season.

Cody McCormick – C-

McCormick’s chance at building on a terrific 2010-11 was derailed by concussion issues. While he did a nice job as an enforcer and filling a fourth line role, his sporadic play (due to injury) kept him from producing offensively. He only had one goal this season and when paying over one million dollars for a fighter/grinder, you need more production than that. Continue reading

Sabres bubble battle

As the Rochester Americans prepare to open training camp, and the Buffalo Sabres pare down their roster, the battle for the remaining roster spots is becoming clearer.

Ales Kotalik's prowess in the shootout may earn him a spot on the final roster.

 

With the 11 prospects sent to Rochester this morning, there are only 41 players left in camp, and only 24 or 25 will be seriously fighting to avoid a drive up the 90. On the bubble are; Brad Boyes, Matt Ellis, Ales Kotalik, Shaone Morrisonn, Mike Ryan, Colin Stuart and Paul Szczechura. On the outside looking in are; Luke Adam, T.J. Brennan, Dennis Persson, Zack Kassian and Drew Schiestel. Corey Tropp earned a couple looks through the preseason, but I feel like he is still floating below guys like Adam, Kassian and the NHL veterans as well. Continue reading