Some interesting comments from new Sabres head coach Ted Nolan following today’s practice. The takeaway? Don’t be surprised if there’s some roster shuffling on the horizon.
“We have so many young guys here, and it’s almost like going back to junior hockey in some sense,” Nolan said, per the Buffalo News.
“Patty and I have been talking for the last three, four days about that. I didn’t realize how young they really were and the positions that they’re in and the capabilities of what they can do besides playing here.
“There’s some maneuvering room we can do here. We checked the farm team, see who’s going well down there. There’s a couple players playing exceptionally well down there that deserve an opportunity. We’ve been tweaking. We’re going to meet right after this and see what we can do.”
Patty, of course, is the Sabres’ new president of hockey operations, Pat LaFontaine.
One player that’s likely to be headed back to junior is Nikita Zadorov. The 18-year-old d-man has only played seven games this season, so the first year of his entry-level contract has yet to kick in.
Another candidate is Mikhail Grigorenko, who’s been a healthy scratch in both games that Nolan has coached. In hindsight, the 19-year-old was probably rushed into the NHL by the previous Sabres regime. A return to junior, where he can log a lot more ice time and experience some success, may be in his best long-term interests.
Update (4:28 p.m. ET)