The roster moves that the Buffalo Sabres made recently were not what the hockey world was expecting. The team put forward Linus Omark on waivers and sent rookie Phil Varone back to Rochester. The team also sent defensive prospect Chad Ruhwedel back to Rochester as well. Fans always get antsy when they see promising players being assigned to the farm team, but there is a very good reason why Ruhwedel and Varone are in Rochester.
During the Olympic break, the only players who get to keep playing are Olympians and players in the AHL. Sabres fans will see Varone and Ruhwedel back in Buffalo, probably immediately after the Olympic break is over. The two young players have been sent to Rochester to get ice time and to continue their development while the team is on hiatus.
As for Omark, his situation is a little different. If Omark clears waivers by noon today, then the Sabres have a choice to make. The team can choose to send him to Rochester, put him back on the Sabres’ roster, or cut him. Omark was one of those players that the Sabres brought in just to see what he could do. If he clears waivers, it is unlikely that the Sabres will continue any kind of contract with him.
In anticipation of the Olympics, the Sabres also sent down defensemen Mark Pysyk, Brayden McNabb and Rasmus Ristolainen. It is conceivable that Sabres fans will see all of these players with the big team at some point in the second half of the season.
The big roster moves are yet to come, but these roster moves are done in the interest of the team’s future. All of the players that have been sent to Rochester to play during the Olympics have bright futures with the Sabres. Once the Olympics are over, fans will have to brace themselves for the trades that are on the way and that will alter the team permanently.