BUFFALO – For a day or two, Sabres rookie Jack Quinn is technically a member of the Rochester Americans again. In a paper move on Thursday morning, they loaned the winger to their AHL affiliate to create room to recall goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.
Quinn, 21, isn’t going anywhere. The Sabres needed a roster spot and he can be assigned to the minors without waivers.
General manager Kevyn Adams said on Monday the Sabres would have to make daily moves to keep three goalies – Luukkonen, Craig Anderson and Eric Comrie – in the fold.
Earlier this this week, the Sabres decided to scratch Quinn and rookie winger JJ Peterka, who turns 21 on Saturday, to help them deal with their struggles.
Quinn wasn’t going to play Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets at KeyBank Center, so it was easy to take him off the roster. Peterka will be a healthy scratch Thursday.
The Sabres want Quinn and Peterka, both of whom sat out Tuesday’s contest, to take a step back and regroup halfway through the season.
Sabres coach Don Granato said the youngsters will likely return for Saturday’s road game versus the Nashville Predators.
Wingers Rasmus Asplund and Vinnie Hinostroza replaced Quinn and Peterka again.
Adams has been managing his 23-man roster all week. On Wednesday, he lost defenseman Casey Fitzgerald on waivers, a move he made to activate defenseman Henri Jokiharju from injured reserve.
Naturally, Adams must make some difficult decisions. Quinn, for example, could feel like he got demoted. He has a two-way contract, so his salary dips from $832,500 to $80,000.
“What you rely on now is relationships you’ve built with him, primarily the understanding and feel he has that we are very engaged with his development,” Granato said of communicating with Quinn. “We believe in him, his abilities right now and his potential day by day. This fits, it’s OK.”
“Again, we’re juggling roster spots. We have a need to it. We lost Fitzgerald on waivers yesterday, obviously no one wants to lose players but you also have to manage, you only have 23 spots. So today the management of that fits with Jack being put on that transaction.”
Wingers Rasmus Asplund and Vinnie Hinostroza will replace Quinn and Peterka again.
In another paper move on Monday, the Sabres loaned Luukkonen to Rochester to make room for Comrie. The Finn, who has won six straight starts, was supposed to start Tuesday against the Seattle Kraken but came down with a “food poisoning kind of thing.”
“I was happy it wasn’t too long,” he said. “I took the day off and tried to rest as much as I can. It didn’t feel good, but I’m back now.”
Comrie, who replaced Luukkonen on Tuesday, will back him up against the Jets. Anderson will be the odd goalie out.
Meanwhile, after sitting out as a healthy scratch on Tuesday, defenseman Jacob Bryson will replace Kale Clague.
“It’s important to get Jacob back in,” Granato said. “He’s had some ups and downs during the year, but, again, he’s a young guy, not a lot of NHL experience. He’s gotten in a rut at times. It can be prolonged because he doesn’t have the experience to know how to push out of it. And he’s gonna do it, he’s going to push out of it, he’s going to be better because of the challenges he’s had.”