The Sabres' opening night roster for the 2008-09 season is close to being set. The team sent several players, including Nathan Gerbe and Tim Kennedy, to Portland's camp this morning. The moves leave the team with
23 24 healthy players -- one more than the NHL roster limit. Here's who's on the ice right now in HSBC Arena:
Forwards: Thomas Vanek-Derek Roy-Maxim Afinogenov; Daniel Paille-Jochen Hecht-Jason Pominville; Clarke MacArthur-Matt Ellis-Ales Kotalik; Andrew Peters-Adam Mair-Patrick Kaleta. Tim Connolly, bothered by a bad back, is not on the ice.
Defense: Toni Lydman-Craig Rivet; Jaroslav Spacek-Andrej Sekera; Mike Weber-Teppo Numminen; Henrik Tallinder-Nathan Paetsch.
Goalies: Ryan Miller, Patrick Lalime.
Have to wait for coach Lindy Ruff's news conference and a team release on the Portland guys to see if this is officially the lineup. Stay tuned.
1:45 P.M. UPDATE AFTER LINDY TALKED
First off, sorry, in my haste to get from work room back to ice, forgot about Drew Stafford, who is out with an ear injury. So, yes, they have 24 players, not including Paul Gaustad who could be placed on injured reserve and not count.
Ruff will not keep eight defensemen. He'd prefer to keep six, but the Sabres are all but certain to have seven. The coach said he's still not sure if they will keep 23 players for opening night.