Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff indicated after Tuesday's loss to Winnipeg that changes could be coming to the last-place club.
The first indication of a new direction came Wednesday, when Buffalo waived fourth-line forward Cody McCormick. He'd actually started practice but left the ice partway through after hearing the news.
McCormick was pointless in eight games this season with 10 penalty minutes. Ruff said a glut of grit players contributed to the move:
"Part of it with John (Scott) there, we're crowded at that position. And with Pat Kaleta on the right side, I tried to put Cody at center. We've got too much of almost the same thing."
After Tuesday's loss, during which the Sabres looked listless for 39 minutes despite playing a team actually worse than them in the standings, dropped Buffalo to 6-10-1, good for 13th in the Eastern Conference and 27th in the league.
"If we're going to be like this, it isn't working the way we're going. I think the indication today is we're going to have to try some things, and that's what we're talking about."
The Sabres could simply insert Mikhail Grigorenko back into the lineup after two straight healthy scratches and juggle the lines. They could also make a call-up from the Rochester Americans. The most likely AHL call-ups would be forwards Kevin Porter (15 goals, 29 assists for the Amerks) and Mark Mancari (15 goals, 28 assists).
McCormick was acquired from Colorado prior to 2009-10. He scored eight goals and 20 assists in 2010-11. For his career, he has 18 goals and 36 assists in 277 games. He contract was worth $1.2 million this season and $1 million next season.
General Manager Darcy Regier reportedly tried to trade McCormick before waiving him. Several reports have Regier heavily testing the trade market in pursuit of more moves.
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