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Roster Now Stands at 22

by Brian Wheeler / Buffalo Sabres
Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff has taken the final steps to decrease the team's roster to the 23-man limit for the commencement of the regular season on Wednesday. The Sabres roster now stands at 22 players after a series of moves.

Adam Mair (groin) and Andrew Peters (tricep) are starting the season on injured reserve. Derek Roy was assigned to Rochester on Monday. Milan Bartovic, Doug Janik, Jason Pominville and Sean McMorrow were waived and will join the Rochester Americans on Tuesday if each clears waivers.

Of the five players removed from the roster who are not on injured reserve, Roy has the most NHL experience, appearing in 49 games for Buffalo during the 2003-04 season, scoring 19 points (10+9) in that span.

"That was a very difficult decision," stated Ruff of Roy's assignment on Monday. "I think the decision will get even tougher if he starts putting up the numbers he did down (in Rochester), which I hope he does."

Roy spent the 2004-05 lockout playing for the Amerks, recording 61 points (16+45) in 67 games.

Despite playing larger than his 5'9'', 187-pound frame would suggest, size appeared to matter in this case, as the fourth-line will most likely be centered by 6'4'', 217-pounder, Paul Gaustad. Tim Connolly secured the third line center position with his solid play and role in the Sabres' special teams unit during the preseason.

"We liked what (Paul) Gaustad had done in the role that he was in and we really liked where Tim (Connolly) was at, in the sense that he was a big part of our power play. (Connolly) has really taken Miroslav Satan's spot on the backside and has been the creative guy of that power play."

According to Ruff, Roy wasn't completely surprised by the move but was disappointed.

"He felt the pressure to play well and I think maybe that affected his play," stated Ruff. "He placed a lot of pressure on his own shoulders. He even talked about it this summer, thinking that his one goal was to make the team and he knew it was going to be tougher."

Dmitri Kalinin participated in some light skating drills and is still available for Wednesday's home opener against the New York Islanders, although it could be a slim chance that he sees any action in that game.

"I wouldn't want to take the chance, with four games in six nights, of getting him in for one game and having a setback," said Ruff.

Mair skated in practice today for the first time in more than a week and is "progressing" according to Ruff.

Peters is regaining strength from his tricep injury and is without pain.

In a 5-on-4 power play drill, Connolly was playing the left point when an errant pass came dangerously close to crossing the blue line. Although it was just practice, the Syracuse, N.Y. native dove headfirst to stop the puck and save the play. As soon as the drill was over, Sabres co-captain Chris Drury skated over to Connolly and commended him on the effort.
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