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Botterill says team is weighing forward options, updates injuries

Sabres GM met with the media ahead of Tuesday's game

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Sabres general manager Jason Botterill met with the media prior to Tuesday's game against Minnesota to discuss the current injury situation at forward among other topics. 

The organization currently has eight injured forwards on NHL contracts between Buffalo and Rochester, detailed in the injury report below. Meanwhile, the Sabres have been practicing with nine bodies on defense as Zach Bogosian continues to recover from offseason hip surgery. 

Tweet from @SabresPR: Sabres/Amerks injury report for Monday, November 18.

Botterill said the organization is optimistic that Bogosian will be available at some point on the team's upcoming three-game road trip, which begins Wednesday in Boston. He is actively seeking trade options to add to the forward group but also stressed the importance of maintaining depth on defense. 

Though the back end is healthy as of Tuesday, the Sabres have already seen Bogosian, Brandon Montour, and Marco Scandella miss time this season and are navigating through a condensed schedule as the result of their recent trip to Sweden.

"We understand that we're going to face some injuries on defense here and we want to make sure we have that capability," Botterill said. "Those are things that we continue to look at, to see if there's a mix with another team that we can maybe add to our group at forward, but we also really like the way we've tried to build up our defense in the last couple years here. 

"It's something that, if we are going to remove anyone from there, we've got to make sure it's helping our team out."  


Botterill reiterated that the Sabres are expecting to have at least one injured forward back by the end of the week. Both Marcus Johansson and Johan Larsson are day-to-day.  

The GM has been pleased with the play of recent recalls Curtis Lazar and Rasmus Asplund in the interim. Lazar scored in his team debut last Thursday, while Asplund has taken on a penalty kill role and appeared comfortable to start his NHL career.

"From a free agent standpoint, we've certainly looked at different options from there," he said. "Right now, we feel comfortable with the players that we have and the players we still have in Rochester that can come up and play for us."

Botterill said the Sabres are not considering recalling 2019 first-round pick Dylan Cozens on an emergency basis. The organization is instead stressing patience and development for the forward in WHL Lethbridge, where he's tallied 30 points (15+15) in 21 games. 

"From Dylan's standpoint, we're ecstatic about him as a player and his development. But he is not on the radar," Botterill said. "His goal right now is to help Lethbridge out and to find a way onto the World Junior team."

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