Brendan Guhle has already been traded once in the last month, when his junior team Prince Albert sent him to Prince George on Nov. 19. When his new coach called him into his office on Friday to inform him of yet another destination, it's a safe bet that Guhle didn't have Buffalo in mind.
Guhle was recalled by the Sabres from junior on an emergency basis on Friday in the wake of an injury to Josh Gorges. He'll make his NHL debut against the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon.
"I wasn't even really sure that that was allowed," Guhle said, smiling. "It was kind of cool I guess."
Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said that Guhle, 19, had nearly played his way onto the NHL roster out of training camp in October. He stuck with the team all the way through to its final preseason game, when Guhle played against an Ottawa Senators team using nearly its full lineup.
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Bylsma said he'll have an update on Gorges after the game, but admitted he'll be out for "a little bit." The Sabres have already been forced to utilize their depth on the back end with Dmitry Kulikov having missed 10 games with a lower-back injury and Zach Bogosian missing the last14 games with an MCL sprain. Bylsma said he hopes for Kulikov to rejoin practice in the next week, while Bogosian remains in the 10-day range.
The decision to recall Guhle was made partially because of the Sabres' need for a left-shot defenseman. Casey Nelson is day-to-day with a neck injury in Rochester, but Bylsma said that Erik Burgdoerfer would have been a candidate for the recall had the Sabres needed a right shot. Guhle will play on the left side on a pair with Cody Franson.
The fact that Guhle has impressed in back-to-back training camps didn't hurt either.
"Two training camps ago you saw great skating ability," Bylsma said. "This training camp I thought he showed the skating ability but also an increase battle level, an increased intensity, playing defense and it's just the maturation f or him and his game. We felt like we needed to add some speed on the backend, some skating ability and Brendan will provide that."
Robin Lehner will start in net for the Sabres after missing Buffalo's game on Thursday due to a hip injury.
Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. with the TOPS Pregame Show on MSG-B, or you can listen live on WGR 550. The puck drops at 1 p.m.