Yes, it’s only July 8th but that’s no reason we can’t start looking at the potential Rochester Americans roster that we’ll see on the ice in October.
Of the top five scorers on the 2010/2011 Portland Pirates roster there’s only one player that could see some time as an Amerk and that’s Luke Adam. With the Sabres in need of a center it’s possible he’ll spend a decent amount of time in Buffalo which will really leave some spots. There’s faith in Darcy Regier in getting the roster completed but with the AHL free agent market being depleted daily there’s obvious concerns about where scoring potential will come from.
2010/2011 Top Five:
Mark Mancari: 56 Games with 64 Points (32G, 32A)
Luke Adam: 57 Games with 62 Points (29G, 33A)
Marc-Andre Gragnani: 63 Games with 60 Points (12G, 48A)
Paul Byron: 67 Games with 53 Points (26G, 27A)
Mark Parrish: 56 Games with 51 Points (17G, 34A)
Combined that’s 116 goals and 174 assists for 290 points missing that needs to be replaced.
** This is assuming that Adam, last seasons AHL Rookie of the Year, spends time in Rochester. The Sabres have needs at center as well and may have a spot for him. Obvious needs here with only one center under contract. Could one of the wingers play center? Possible. Matt Ellis has been in the Sabres system for the past three seasons and there’s still time to sign him to take up one of the veteran spots. Ellis isn’t a first or second line center, hopefully they can do better.
Am I missing someone?
** Put Ales Kotalik on the wing and the roster is looking set on that side of the ice. The Sabres re-acquired Kotalik in the trade for Robyn Regehr. They say that he’ll be competing for a roster spot but it’s likely his $3 Million salary will be buried in Rochester. In 25 games with the Abbotsford Heat he had 6 goals and 16 assists.
** Now that Whitmore is back on the roster along with Stuart and the potential of Foligno this side is looking pretty good as well.
** Dennis Persson is still a unsigned as a RFA. There’s been rumblings that Shaone Morrisonn could be sent down to get his over $2 Million salary off of the books. It’s likely the Sabres are trying to trade him or hope he’s picked up on waivers before having to do that. Assuming he’s sent to Rochester he’ll be a welcome addition to the lineup. The key defenseman missing that was on Portlands roster last season is Marc-Andre Gragnani and his puck moving and scoring.
** It’s possible but highly unlikely that MacIntyre wins the backup role in Buffalo or that Buffalo would simply prefer Jhonas Enroth to play more and be sent to Rochester instead of warming the bench behind Miller. Either way there’s a solid combo of goaltenders that’ll be available.
Nothing yet. To be determined. No concerns though.
The roster will continue to change and we’ll continue to keep it updated. I’m still trying to learn the Sabres minor league roster so if I’m missing anyone (or someone usually plays a different position) please let me know.