Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hecht returns to health

Buffalo Sabres
Jochen Hecht will return to the Sabres lineup after being out a few weeks with an injury to his hand. While this is good news, it is also a problem as Hecht coming off of IR will put the Sabres over the roster limit with 24 players.

Only three players can be sent to Portland without needing to clear waivers, and they are Clarke MacArthur, Drew Stafford, and Andre Sekera. In preseason MacArthur would have been sent down, but he has played very well for Buffalo so far and is fifth on the team in points and second in goals to only league leader Thomas Vanek. Sekera has been solid as well, so of those players the one most likely to be sent down is Stafford.

More likely is that one of the team's current scratches will try to clear waivers instead. Paetsch, the team's seventh defenseman is no better then Portland's Mike Weber, but the drop off is a bit steep after that, and the two of them already found themselves both playing already in this early season. Paetsch would almost positively get taken by another team so keeping him is in Buffalo's best interest. Peters may be able to make it through waivers but is clearly better than Matt Ellis. Does anyone really care if the team losses Ellis to waivers? Are we not better off if Gerbe or Kennedy or Mancari get a few occasional starts with Buffalo instead? The obvious solution is to let Ellis go and hope that someone does take him.

It is also possible that nobody will need to be sent to Portland as guess who is injured? While the injury may not be serious enough to put him on IR, it may as well be done now, as it is just going to have to happen by the end of the weekend otherwise. Two straight games already exceed any expectations that anyone had for him.

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