Nail Yakupov

Teams will have five games to make decision on junior players


For this season only, 18- and 19-year-old draftees will have just five games to show their stuff before their NHL teams must decide whether to keep them (and use up a year of their entry-level contracts) or send them back to junior.

That’s according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, who tweets that the previous nine-game limit is expected to return for the 2013-14 season and beyond.

Obviously this is being done because the NHL is playing a shortened season following the lockout.

Teenagers that are expected to compete for roster spots include Nail Yakupov (Oilers), Dougie Hamilton (Bruins), Boone Jenner (Blue Jackets), and Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida).

It remains to be seen how the shortened season will affect teams’ decisions in this regard. In a mad dash for the playoffs, some clubs may want steady veterans in there, not unproven prospects.

Derek Roy continues his career in Switzerland

Alex Tanguay, Derek Roy
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Derek Roy will continue his pro career overseas, as he has signed a contract with Bern in the Swiss League.

Roy attended training camp on a professional tryout with the Washington Capitals, but he was unable to claim a spot on their roster.

The 32-year-old had some great years in the NHL, but since the 2011-12 season Roy had suited up for six different teams (excluding his PTO with the Caps).

His best season came in 2007-08 when he scored 32 goals and 81 points in 78 games with the Buffalo Sabres.

Roy will leave the NHL with 189 goals and 524 points in 738 career games.

He will join former NHLers Cory Conacher, Andrew Ebbett, Chuck Kobasew, Simon Moser and Sean Bergenheim in Bern.


Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner

They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.