NEW YORK -- The Sabres have just announced that Jochen Hecht had finger surgery today in Buffalo. No diagnosis, no information on which finger but the team says Hecht will be out a couple of weeks. So Hecht joins Paul Gaustad and Tim Connolly on the sidelines. What if another center goes down? Don't think that automatically means Nathan Gerbe gets a callup.
For starters, Ales Kotalik has played center in his career although Lindy Ruff doesn't like using him there and forcing him to go goalline to goalline. I asked Ruff Tuesday if the injuries might force the organization to scratch its rational plan for Gerbe to get a lot of experience in Portland and he said it wouldn't.
"Based on what I saw from the last game, [Mark] Mancari would be the guy," Ruff said, referring to Mancari's hat trick in Portland's season-opening win over Manchester. "That's what we tell all our young players. The guy that is playing the best will get the opportunity, whether that's Tyler Bouck who had a good game, Mark Mancari, whoever. It's not based on draft picks, not based on where you got picked. It's who's doing the job the best down there. ... We want the guys going the best down there and that's all we want. That's the order we've kept in our tenure here with Darcy and I."