BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Sabres can stop piling up the paper transactions in order to keep three goaltenders on the roster.
Vinnie Hinostroza went unclaimed after being placed on waivers Wednesday, allowing the Sabres to assign the veteran forward to Rochester.
The move eases a roster logjam for the Sabres created by rookie goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s emergence and veteran Eric Comrie’s return from a two-month injury absence. Along with Craig Anderson, the Sabres plan to rotate the three goalies in net.
That required Buffalo to make almost daily moves loaning one of its young forwards — Jack Quinn, JJ Peterka and Peyton Krebs — to Rochester in order to create space on the 23-man NHL roster each time Luukkonen was scheduled to start. None of the players involved in the roster shuffle played a game in the minors.
Luukkonen will start Thursday night’s home game against the Islanders. It will be the 17th start in 27 games for Luukkonen since the Sabres called him up on Nov. 19. He is 10-5-1 with a 3.47 goals-against average .895 save percentage this season.
The 28-year-old Hinostroza is liked in the locker room and valued by the Sabres’ organization, but had been displaced in the lineup, being scratched in 17 of the past 22 games. He has eight assists and no goals in 19 appearances this season, averaging 12:15 of ice time with a plus-2 rating. After compiling 25 points (13 goals, 12 assists) in 62 games with a minus-11 rating last season, Hinostroza was re-signed to a one-year, $1.7 million contract.
The Sabres recalled Peterka from Rochester on Thursday, hours after loaning him to the minors.