If the Buffalo Sabres ever take the ice in 2012-13, they will do so without Corey Tropp.
The highly touted prospect injured his right leg in the Rochester Americans' season-opening win Friday and will be out for the season. He'd scored twice in that game and was considered a contender for a third- or fourth-line winger spot in Buffalo, but surgery will end his season quite prematurely.
"Appreciate all the support," he tweeted. "Tough break but that's life."
The 23-year-old split his second pro season in 2011-12 between the AHL and NHL. He scored three goals and five assists in 34 NHL games last season while tallying nine goals and 13 assists in 27 minor-league games. In his first pro season in 2010-11, he registered 10 goals and 30 assists for the Portland Pirates, then the Sabres' AHL affiliate.
Tropp was only in Rochester due to the NHL lockout. If there's a season, Buffalo will enter training camp with three healthy, NHL-experienced right wingers in Jason Pominville, Patrick Kaleta and Drew Stafford. Marcus Foligno could shift to the right side – but that would break up the chemistry he developed with Stafford and center Tyler Ennis – or Ville Leino or Steve Ott could play the right side, which would further open up the competition at center.
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