Buffalo Sabres coach Ron Rolston said after the morning skate Wednesday that right wing Corey Tropp will miss approximately 5-6 weeks after having surgery to repair a broken jaw. Tropp sustained the injury in a fight with Maple Leafs forward Jamie Devane in the third period of Buffalo’s 5-3 loss to Toronto on Sunday.
The Sabres host the Columbus Blue Jackets in an exhibition game Wednesday night at First Niagara Center at 7 p.m.
Rolston said Tropp also had a concussion, but has been cleared on that front.
Tropp missed 72 games last season with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League after injuring his knee in the first game of the 2012-13 campaign.
“That’s one of the most unfortunate things about the whole incident in Toronto, I think is the fact he missed the whole year last year with an injury that was pretty much a fluke situation where he got hurt.” Rolston said. “For this to happen early on, I think he was in the right mindset. He was playing really well in camp. He was excited so it’s unfortunate. You feel for that, for Corey and players that have that happen to them.”
Marcus Foligno, who was also injured in the third period Sunday, has an upper-body strain and is expected to be ready by the Sabres’ season opener in Detroit on Oct. 2. He’ll likely miss the final preseason game against Carolina on Friday.
“I wouldn’t think he’s going to be there for Friday, but you never know," Rolston said. "He feels a lot better today, so I would say [he'll be back for the] opener to be realistic.”
Cody McCormick was back on the ice after missing practice on Monday with a hand injury. He will not play on Wendesday, but Roston said there’s a good chance he’ll be ready for the game in Carolina.
Rolston responded to questions about the fine he received from the League regarding “player selection and team conduct” that led to the line brawl in Toronto.
“I’m not going to go into a long explanation on it, but it’s part of what they do and they have to make a decision on what’s best for the League,” Rolston said. “Those are things we can’t control, so we do what is handed down and go from there.”
Rolston said he did not say anything to forward John Scott before leaving him on the ice for the face off after the Tropp fight that ignited the incident.
After a series of cuts on Monday, the team is basically down to five forward lines and nine defensemen. Rolston said that the makeup of the roster is “fairly close” to what it will look like on opening night. More decisions will have to be made in the coming days and young players like Rasmus Ristolainen, Johan Larsson, Mikhail Grigorenko, Joel Armia and Zemgus Girgensons will have another chance to impress in front of the home crowd.
On defense, Henrik Tallinder and Tyler Myers have been in a pairing since Monday. The two last played together during the 2009-10 season when Myers was named Rookie of the Year. Wednesday will mark the first game action they’ll see together since then.
“We’ve been together for two days so it’s different when you practice compared to games because in games, everything happens so quickly and there are a lot of situations out there that you can’t predict what’s going to happen,” Tallinder said. “So that’s where you read off each other. But we read off each other pretty good last time we played together so hopefully we can get that chemistry going again.”
26 Thomas Vanek – 19 Cody Hodgson – 21 Drew Stafford
9 Steve Ott – 63 Tyler Ennis – 23 Ville Leino
28 Zemgus Girgensons – 25 Mikhail Grigorenko – 33 Joel Armia
32 John Scott – 22 Johan Larsson – 36 Patrick Kaleta
BLUE JACKETS LINEUP (via BlueJackets.com)
Forwards: Skille, Calvert, Craig, Umberger, Johansen, Marchessault, Smith, Chaput, Anisimov, Collins, Letestu, Foligno
Defensemen: Erixon, Wisniewski, Melart, Weber, Goloubef, Savard
Goalies: McKenna, Smith
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