News broke this morning that Tyler Myers will miss up to six weeks due to surgery on his injured wrist. T.J. Brennan was recalled from Rochester to fill the void left by the injury.
Brennan was with the team in Carolina last Friday as a safety valve in the event that an injury or illness struck down a defensive corps that was already short Mike Weber. While there was no intent to play Brennan upon his last call-up, he will most certainly see time this week as the Myers injury left Buffalo with only five healthy defensemen.
While Myers hasn’t been a tower of power early this year, he had been trending back to an effective member of the blueline with three good outings after being a scratch against Montreal last Monday. While he hasn’t made major contributions to the team, Myers’ injury leaves a hole in the top half of a shaky set of defensemen. Inserting Brennan simply bumps the lower three up a peg. Marc-Andre Gragnani becomes number five, Christian Ehrhoff number four and so on.
Brennan will see limited minutes skating beside Gragnani and will just need to operate on the K.I.S.S. methodology. Having the chance to make his NHL debut will be a big deal for the former second-round pick. This is certainly an opportunity to showcase his talents to the organization and prove that he is worthy of a permanent promotion in the near future.
However, Brennan may not be staring at the biggest opportunity. Ehrhoff may just be the defenseman with the most to gain from the injury to Myers. Ehrhoff’s lack of responsibility in the defensive zone through the first 20 games has been lackluster, to say the least. He has loafed through many games and certainly isn’t living up to the big contract he signed in the offseason. He has put forth a much better effort in recent games and is hopefully finding his comfort zone in Buffalo. Regardless, the increased ice time he is likely to see in Myers’ absence will give him the chance to show he is worth the giant contract he signed in the offseason. A big effort from Ehrhoff would certainly lessen the blow dealt by the loss of Myers.
After watching from the press box for 15 games, Mike Weber looked as if he had finally worked his way back to a regular spot in the lineup.
Weber played key minutes against Montreal and was one of Buffalo’s most effective defensemen in that game. However, Weber experienced somewhat of a backslide yesterday against New Jersey; it appears as if an injury may be responsible for that. According to The Buffalo News, Weber is going to miss some time with an injury. Lindy Ruff said the injury “will take some time”. Weber joins Ryan Miller and Cody McCormick on the shelf with extended injuries.
It seems as if the Sabres will call up T.J. Brennan to fill the void left by Weber. Now, this could be a simple insurance policy to provide a seventh defenseman while Marc-Andre Gragnani is reinserted into the line up. However, it would seem silly not to give Brennan at least one game on the weekend to see how he responds in his first NHL call-up.
Brennan is, at best a two-way defenseman. However, he seems like much more of a puck mover than anything else. Just what Buffalo needed, to put another puck mover on the ice.
Still, Brennan was a high selection (picked with the 2nd round selection received from Philly in the Biron trade) and has shown that he is on the cusp of breaking into the show. Corey Tropp got his first NHL action this season and has responded well. There is no reason to think that Brennan won’t play to his absolute best in his NHL debut. Continue reading →
This is part three of a series previewing the Buffalo Sabres 2011-12 season. Part three focuses on the defensemen who will play for the Sabres’ farm club. Read part one and two here.
Due to a number of roster moves by Darcy Regier in the offseason, a handful of the Sabres’ prospects will remain stuck in the minors for another season. If Tom Golisano still owned the Sabres it would be likely that Chris Butler and Marc-Andre Gragnani would be fighting for playing time with players like Drew Schiestel or T.J. Brennan. Both defensemen are close to making the jump to the NHL soon.
As luck would have it, Terry Pegula instituted a new mandate of spending and the Sabres brought in two new veterans to man the blue line. So, Schiestel and Brennan will need to wait another year to make it with the big club. Continue reading →