As the Sabres hit the ice for the second day of training camp, there's currently nine defensemen on the roster. A large part of the reason is 23-year-old T.J. Brennan, who's had a standout season with the Rochester Americans. Brennan, the Sabres second round pick in 2007, is leading the Amerks with 35 points in 36 games. The Sabres have a choice with Brennan: keep him on the active roster, or attempt to send him back to Rochester - but he would have to clear waivers to get there.
"It's easy to get lost with all of the defensemen here. But I think personally, you've just got to control what you can and just get better. (Sabres management) are the ones at the end of the day who are going to have to make the decision," Brennan said. "It's out of your control. So what I can do is just control what I can and really just make it hard for them, do what I can, try to add some offense to the game and play the best defensive game that I can. Whatever decision they make, I've just got to go with it and make the best of it."
Only a handful of Sabres players have had the benefit of playing in games over the lockout, and of course that includes Marcus Foligno and Cody Hodgson - who starred for the Amerks during the work stoppage. Hodgson was limited to 19 games with a hand injury, but ended up scoring a point-per-game. Meanwhile, Foligno continued his development as a power forward, with 27 points and 38 penalty minutes in 33 games. Both players noted it was the best scenario for them.
"It's great obviously. It gets you in game shape," Foligno said. "Obviously, I developed as a player down there too, as a pro player. The AHL was a good league when all those players came down. For myself, I though I worked hard, had a good start, things went well down there. I'm just happy to be here now and get things going here.
"I felt good," Hodgson said. "I think that was an advantage over some guys who weren't able to play over the lockout. It was a good organization, and I was really happy to have time in Rochester."
Joe Finley has likely played his final game in the Sabres organization. The 6-foot-8 defenseman was claimed off waivers by the NY Islanders on Monday. Finley put up five points and a plus-3 rating in 35 games for the Amerks this season.