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by Chris Ryndak / Buffalo Sabres

Chad Ruhwedel and Phil Varone are going to Rochester, but they’ll be back in Buffalo soon enough.

The Buffalo Sabres announced Friday that the two players had been assigned to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League. They’ll continue to eat up ice time in the AHL while the NHL takes a two-week hiatus because of the Winter Olympics.

Rochester hosts the Hershey Bears on Friday at 7:05 p.m. at Blue Cross Arena before they head west for a home game away from home.

Saturday night, the Amerks and the Grand Rapids Griffins will square off at 7:05 p.m. at First Niagara Center.

Ruhwedel saw game action for the first time this season with the Sabres during this seven-game call-up. He put 15 shots on goal, recorded a plus-3 rating and played a career-high 21:25 on Feb. 5 against Pittsburgh.

With Rochester this season – his first full professional season – the 23-year-old defenseman has four goals and 17 points in 34. He made his NHL debut at the end of last season when he played in seven games for the Sabres. He’d spent the past three years playing collegiately at UMass Lowell.

He joins an Amerks defensive corps that currently features Mark Pysyk, Brayden McNabb, Rasmus Ristolainen, Drew Bagnall, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, Nick Crawford and Matt MacKenzie.


Varone’s first call-up was a memorable one. He recorded an assist in the first game of his career on Jan. 23 against Carolina and scored his first NHL goal three games later on Jan. 28 against the Capitals.

He’s still the Amerks leading scorer with eight goals and 25 assists in 38 games played. Varone, 23, has put up 120 points (30+90) in 176 career AHL games played.

The team also announced that forward Linus Omark, who was acquired in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers for a conditional sixth-round pick in December, was placed on waivers. If Omark clears by noon Saturday, the Sabres could assign him to Rochester or they could keep him on the NHL roster.

Omark, 27, has two assists in 14 NHL games this season. He’s played in 13 games since the trade.

When he was acquired by the Sabres, he was the leading scorer on the Oklahoma City Barons, Edmonton’s AHL affiliate, with 14 goals and 15 assists in 29 games.

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