It’s officially October and the Rochester Americans had a full team practice early Tuesday afternoon with 28 players on the ice.
This biggest news was that Gord Dineen assumed head coaching duties this morning on an interim basis after Chris Taylor was called up to Buffalo. Don Granato is out on medical leave with pneumonia. For more on that move along with quotes from Gord Dineen, Randy Sexton, and Zach Redmond click through the link below.
Four players were assigned to Rochester and on the ice for practice after clearing waivers Tuesday – Curtis Lazar, Scott Wilson, Remi Elie, and Scott Nelson.
Lawrence Pilut was also assigned to Rochester from Buffalo and returned to his first team practice since recovering from shoulder surgery. Pilut was injured in game three of the playoffs last season in Toronto. He was skating in an orange non contact jersey.
The Sabres announced moves later in the day which are just salary cap paper moves meaning no one is actually going anywhere. Victor Olofsson and Henri Jokiharju were assigned to Rochester. Jean-Sebastien Dea, Curtis Lazar, and Lawrence Pilut were assigned to Buffalo. By Thursday the moves will likely be announced again in reverse. This Tweet below from CapFriendly gives more information:
It is beneficial to minimize the difference between the cap hit of the players being placed on LTIR, and the amount the team exceeds the upper limit by.
Doing so maximizes the amount a team can exceed the upper limit. https://t.co/dobCgPblya
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) October 1, 2019
The team will have some decisions to make as well before Friday night on Brett Murray and Kyle Olson who are still with the team on tryouts. Assistant General Manager Randy Sexton said after practice that there wasn’t anything to be said about their status at this time.
Tage Thompson was the first skater on the ice for practice and will have the chance to play big (no pun intended) meaningful minutes on a top line in Rochester. He had a few speed bumps last spring after being assigned to the Amerks but was quick to make corrections and became a dominant player on the ice.
“I’m excited to get the season going,” Thompson said after practice. “It should be a really good team. We had a great season last year even, obviously didn’t end the way we wanted to in the playoffs, but we took a lot from that experience and will build off of that.”
When Thompson was told he was being sent to Rochester he was told to keep playing the same way, make good puck decisions, not turning the puck over, using his skill to play a smart game, a lot of ice time, and continue to play well.
The regular season begins Friday night with a good roster on paper.
“I don’t even think at this point it’s something that has to be talked about. Everyone knows what we have in the room,” Zach Redmond said after practice. “You just look around at the experience and the talent. Our focus for one is not looking too far into the future. In the past it’s been we have to succeed in the playoffs but for now it’s just day to day what we can do right now to get better. We know what we have in here but it’s just up to us to stay focused on that short term goal and hopefully that all adds up and contributes more and more as the season goes on and contributes to that long term goal.”