BUFFALO – The reeling Sabres, winners of just two of their 15 games, need reinforcements badly. Luckily, some aggressive, high-energy players are available.
Corey Tropp, out since breaking his jaw during a Sept. 22 preseason fight, is healed. Meanwhile, Patrick Kaleta has finished serving his 10-game suspension for hitting Columbus’ Jack Johnson in the head Oct. 10.
Sabres coach Ron Rolston said this afternoon following practice inside the First Niagara Center both players looked good and are available for Saturday’s home tilt against Anaheim.
But will they play?
“We’ll see,” Rolston said.
Then he smiled. Read: both will return.
The Sabres must make a roster move today to activate Tropp from injured reserve, Rolston said.
Tropp, who tore up his right knee last season, hasn’t played an NHL game since April 5, 2012.
“It’s been a long road back,” Tropp said.
The 24-year-old is ready to give an honest effort.
“I think this is a city, if you’re working hard, that’s all they ask,” Tropp said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re winning or losing. But they’ll respect us as a club if we’re coming out every night competing hard.”
Kaleta had trouble watching his teammates.
“It stinks sitting there watching your teammates going out and playing and you not being able to help out,” Kaleta said. “You sit there and … not being able to do anything hurts you as a person because you’re a team and you battle through everything together.
“So, yeah, I guess you could say I’ve been antsy and ready to go for as long as I could remember.”
Tropp skated on the right wing with center Marcus Foligno and Steve Ott today. Kaleta was on the right side center Cody McCormick and Mikhail Grigorenko.
In other news, John Scott won’t appeal his seven-game suspension, the tough guy told the Times Herald. The NHL issued the long ban Thursday for hitting Boston’s Loui Eriksson in the head last week.
Scott said he wants to put it to rest.
He skated as a defenseman today beside rookie Nikita Zadorov, a strong sign the 18-year-old Russian will sit a second straight game Saturday.
“Get some perspective on things,” Rolston said about sitting Zadorov.
In other rookie news, winger Joel Armia (broken hand) is about a week away from returning and will be sent to Rochester when he’s healthy, Rolston said.