Sabres make seven roster moves ahead of season opener

By WGR 550 SportsRadio

Tuesday at 5 p.m. EDT marks the time at which all 31 teams around the National Hockey League must have their rosters trimmed down to 23 players to start the 2019-20 season.

However, the Buffalo Sabres made seven roster moves on Monday to trim their roster down before the season opener on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.

The Sabres have announced that forwards Rasmus Asplund and Tage Thompson, and defenseman Lawrence Pilut have been assigned to the Rochester Americans in the American Hockey League. Forwards Remi Elie, Curtis Lazar and Scott Wilson, as well as defenseman Casey Nelson have been placed on waivers for the purpose of assignment.

The Buffalo Sabres have placed four players on waivers and assigned three players to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

— Sabres PR (@SabresPR) September 30, 2019

If all four players that were placed on waivers clear at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, their assignment to Rochester will become official.

Perhaps the most surprising of the moves made on Monday was Thompson, who scored two goals in four games for the Sabres this preseason. The 21-year-old appeared in 65 games with the Sabres last season, scoring seven goals and registering 12 points. In eight games with the Amerks late last season, Thompson really performed well with six goals and three assists for nine points.

The Sabres' roster currently sits at 29 players before the waiver moves become official on Tuesday. Once the players on waivers clear, Buffalo will still have two moves to make to get the roster down to 23 players.

Buffalo does have a number of players that could be placed on injured reserve to start the season.

Defenseman Zach Bogosian had offseason hip surgery, in which he is still recovering from, as did goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. Defenseman Brandon Montour suffered a hand injury in Game 2 of the preseason against the Columbus Blue Jackets, yet it is unclear as to when he will be ready to return to action. Also, defenseman Jake McCabe is dealing with an upper-body injury, but should be ready for the start of the season on Thursday.

Pilut underwent offseason shoulder surgery, but his assignment to Rochester is likely a good sign that he is making progress to returning to the ice sooner than later.

The Sabres and Penguins kick off the season on Thursday with a 7 p.m. faceoff in Pittsburgh. Pre-game coverage with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog gets underway at 6 p.m.