While the Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos hit the field for pregame warmups the other team in town decided to make a few roster moves. On Sunday the Buffalo Sabres sent defenseman Brendan Guhle and forwards CJ Smith, Hudson Fasching, and Kyle Criscuolo to the Rochester Americans [AHL]. Buffalo now has 32 players remaining on their training camp roster.
Like many of you, I was surprised by the decision to send Guhle back to Rochester. I didn't think he would make the team out of camp but I thought he'd get the longest look of all of the players on the fringe. Instead, the Sabres opted to send Guhle down in time for the start of Rochester Americans training camp, which begins this week. With Jason Botterill at the helm, sending Guhle to Rochester is all part of the process. Sorry, Sean McDermott, I'm using your word.
As for Smith, he was a player I was high on during the offseason. He's a slippery forward who is good at creating space. That said, he's got very little pro experience. Just last year he was playing #cawlidgehawkey. Some time in Rochester could do Smith and his development wonders.
Fasching scored the Sabres only goal last night against the Maple Leafs and after the game said he's had an up and down camp. Like Smith and Guhle, Fasching has been inconsistent and needs to mature at both ends of the ice. At times he's a physical force who can dominate along the boards but he needs to produce on a more consistent basis.
Moral of the story -- don't look at this decision as a knock on any of the four players sent down [Kyle Criscuolo included]. All four still have oodles of potential, they just need a little more time to develop. Think of them like a fine wine. They'll get better over time and when they are uncorked the wait will be worth it.