BUFFALO (LGS) — It appears as if the Buffalo Sabres have their opening day roster set. Buffalo sent down three players to the Rochester Americans today bringing their active-roster total to the maximum 23 players.
Forwards Marek Zagrapan and Mark Mancari along with defenseman Michael Funk were assigned to the Amerks.
Clarke MacArthur beat out both Zagrapan and Mancari for the final forward spot. With Ales Kotalik hobbled with a knee injury, MacArthur will be competing with enforcer Andrew Peters for the final spot on the fourth line for this Friday's season opener against the New York Islanders.
Sekera was the overwhelming favorite heading into camp to take over the Sabres' seventh defenseman slot, but Funk's strong play made it a battle until the end.
It's safe to say that two major surprises in camp, outside of Derek Roy's point rampage, were the play of Mancari and Funk.
Both players clearly improved their games during the offseason, particularly in the skating department. The Sabres shouldn't have any hesitation in the future should either of these two players need to be recalled.
Zagrapan also continues to improve. He clearly has all the skills and speed to become a talented NHL player but it appeared at times he still needs to perfect his game at the AHL level before making the already offensively-gifted Sabres' lineup.