With only 15 players on the roster in tonights game against the Quad City Flames, the Amerks lost there fourth straight by the final score of 4-2, they have also now lost 20 of the last 22 games.
Mark Mancari (13th of season) and Kenndal McArdle (5th of season) scored the only goals for the Amerks, all four goals for the flames were scored by Grant Stevenson. Adam Dennis stopped 30 of 33 shots.
The Amerks only had 15 players on the roster tonight, two under the norm, Stefan Meyer and Marek Zagrapan were out presumably with the flu bug that has been going around the locker room.
Franklin MacDonald was playing as a forward tonight, he now joins Gragnani who was also recently moved to the same position after a depressing start as a defenseman.
The Amerks have been short on players for much of the season and especially as of recent. The Buffalo Sabres currently have Clark MacArthur who was recalled on January 5, and Patrick Kaleta on the 8th. The Florida Panthers called up Tanner Glass on January 13 and Anthony Stewart back on January 3rd. Neither team has assigned any players to the Amerks as replacements.
What may have been an insult to current Panther prospects, the Panthers bypassed everyone on the Amerks and called up Shawn Matthias from the juniors, he has been playing for the Belleville Bulls of the OHL.
At this point in a season one would think the Amerks would at least try and sign some players to a PTO contract, but we can only speculate as to why that hasn’t happened. It could be possible the team tried to find replacements but couldn’t find anyone and get them to the team on time while they’re on the road. It could be possible they don’t have the money to be able to sign someone.
Why haven’t the Panthers or Sabres signed someone else, or at least promoted some players to the Amerks? It’s because neither team has anyone else. Players can only be promoted to the AHL from the ECHL and the CHL, neither parent team has any prospects in either of those leagues. Any additions would have to be new signings.
One last thought is that the only people who care about the outcome of this season are the players on the ice and the Amerks head office, not anyone in Buffalo or Florida. If they do care they sure have a weird way of showing it.
The only real possible conclusion to this whole mess goes back to comments that Stefan Meyer made at the end of December:
“It’s easy to play when things are working, but now is a good time for our parent teams to come watch,” said Meyer, the third-year winger who is third in team scoring.
“They can see who can play, who can battle through adversity, things guys will face in the NHL. This is an opportunity for a lot of us to turn the ship around. This is a time for leaders and guys who can handle the NHL to show it.”
The Florida Panthers have said they want and are willing to be back in Rochester next season, if that’s the case they’re probably going to build the team from next to nothing. Stefan Meyer, Rob Globke, Martin Lojek, Drew Larman, Anthony Stewart, and Adam Taylor are all restricted free agents. Of all those players Stefan Meyer is probably the only one that could be expected to be resigned.
Buffalo has said they’re not coming back to Rochester next season as an affiliate. Of there prospects, Mark Mancari and Clark MacArthur are the only restricted free agents at the end of this season, MacArthur has pretty much solidified his spot on the Sabres roster. Mark Mancari leads the Amerks in scoring with 34 points (13 G, 21 A) in 45 games. Mike Ryan is unrestricted at the end of the season, the Sabres have not played him to his potential this season so Mancari may as well play like he is going to take that spot.
With an uncertain future ahead of the Amerks franchise, we have a very bleak second half of the season as the team tries to shed the label of potential worst team in franchise history.
You can’t really blame season ticket holders for leaving early, fans not wanting to purchase seats, and the rare front page article in the Democrat and Chronicle.
When a team only has 15 healthy players to start a game and there are no attempts to get replacements, it proves that the issues this team has faced this season should not be put solely on the shoulders of the players on the ice.