|Photo: Bill Wippert |
The Buffalo Sabres Opening Day roster is officially set.
The Opening Day lineup, however, still has some question marks.
Injuries to Adam Mair (hip), Drew Stafford
(concussion) and Toni Lydman (hand) will all play a factor. And while Tim Kennedy and Tyler Myers
remain on the 23-man list, there are no guarantees as to who will play October 3 against Montreal.
It seems plausible that Kennedy may suit up, centering a line between Clarke MacArthur and Jason Pominville
at practice on Wednesday at HSBC Arena - as he has for a good portion of training camp.
And with Mair’s Injured Non-Roster status, unable to participate throughout much of training camp, its unclear whether he will be available for the Sabres in time for Saturday.
“All I know is that he hasn’t played, and he’s just started to get involved in the physical stuff,” Head Coach LindyRuff said. “We don’t have any day on that.”
Stafford, however, may be ready and that could shift some players around:
(Vanek practiced alongside Derek Roy
and Tim Connolly on Wednesday, while Paul Gaustad centered Jochen Hecht
and Mike Grier. Dan Paille, Matt Ellis
and Pat Kaleta accounted for the fourth unit.)
On the defensive side, while it’s unlikely Lydman will be able to play in the season opener – he did not practice with the team Wednesday – Ruff would only commit to the pairing of Chris Butler and Craig Rivet.
“Right now we haven’t locked anyone in,” Ruff said. “Whether Toni is in and whether Toni is out will depend on where we go.
“There is no guarantee that [Myers] will be in the opening lineup… But obviously he has played very well for us and is a very serious consideration.”
At 19 years old, Myers is eligible to play in up to nine NHL games before the Sabres make a decision to keep him in the NHL or send him back to his junior team in Kelowna.
“I’m going to look at him one game at a time and I don’t think I’m going to get too anxious one way or the other,” Ruff said.
NOTES: Tim Kennedy has officially changed his jersey number from No. 58 to No. 13.