Corey Tropp will put on a Sabres sweater for the first time since the 2011-12 season when he finished the season in Buffalo.
He played with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League at the start of 2012-13 due to the NHL lockout. In the Amerks first game, he scored two goals before injuring his knee and missed 72 games as a result. He returned to play five games at the end of the season and finished the year with two goals and two assists.
Tropp will be in the lineup on Tuesday when the Sabres travel to Columbus to play in their second preseason game at 7 p.m. at Nationwide Arena. The game can be heard live on WGR 550.
“I’d be lying to you if I told you two years ago when I finished the season that it would take this long to get back into another [NHL game],” Tropp said after practice Tuesday at First Niagara Center.
Tropp believes that playing in those five games in the spring really helped him heading into the offseason.
“That’s one of the real reasons I tried to make the comeback there. So you’re not sitting around all summer thinking, ‘How’s it going to hold up in that first exhibition game or intra-squad scrimmage game?’” he said. “[From] the mental side of it, playing those games helped a lot, I believe.”
Joel Armia will skate for the first time this preseason as well. Like defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, Armia has been playing professionally in Finland for the last several years.
Outside of participating in a prospect tournament for the Sabres two weeks ago in Traverse City, Mich., he’s yet to partake in an NHL game on North American ice.
“I’m not nervous today. It’s just exciting,” Armia, Buffalo’s first-round pick in 2011 (16th overall), said. “[Training camp] been a good experience to play with NHL guys here and get used to this place.”
Sabres coach Ron Rolston plans to use Armia on a line with left wing Tyler Ennis and center Johan Larsson.
“Tonight will be a good test with all our young players,” Rolston said. “We’re trying to get a gauge on just the game situations. For him, it puts him just like Rasmus the other night, into a North American building and just to see the pace of the game. You have to play a lot of hockey in your shift and so those are the things we’ll be looking for.”
Morning Skate 10:30 a.m.
Marcus Foligno – Cody Hodgson – Thomas Vanek
Zemgus Girgensons – Mikhail Grigorenko – Corey Tropp
Tyler Ennis – Johan Larsson – Joel Armia
John Scott – Matt Ellis – Jamie Tardif
Christian Ehrhoff – Tyler Myers
Alexander Sulzer – Jerome Gauthier-Leduc
Brayden McNabb – Chad Ruhwedel
Blue Jackets Roster (via BlueJackets.com)
Forwards: Anderson, Anisimov, Bjorkstrand, Boll, Foligno, Jenner, Joudrey, Machacek, MacKenzie, Marchessault, Moutrey, Umberger
Defensemen: Erixon, Johnson, McNeill, Savard, St. Denis, Tyutin