Sabres defenseman Nathan Paetsch, placed on waivers Monday, has cleared and is still on the team -- at the moment.
Paetsch practiced in HSBC Arena with his teammates today. Coach Lindy Ruff said after the skate the team had not decided whether to send the veteran to Portland of the American Hockey League or keep him in Buffalo.
Ruff, though, ideally would like to carry only six blue-liners on his roster. He has eight, with Paetsch at the bottom behind seventh D-man Andrej Sekera. Paetsch would need two injuries to see ice time. Ruff said Paetsch needs to skate, and the Pirates could provide that opportunity.
"We need to get him playing," Ruff said. "We've got too many bodies here. Knock on wood, we've been lucky with getting back to healthy again. With that many men in the wings, it makes it a little tough at times."
Paetsch is hoping to follow Adam Mair's route. The forward was waived earlier this season but remained with the team and has been a key contributor lately.
"I've kind of got to act like nothing happened," Paetsch said. "It's not like I'm that far out of the lineup. Guys have had injuries. I've gone in there, and I feel like I've played well and contributed."
The Sabres' only injured player could return Wednesday when the Sabres host Tampa Bay. Right wing Patrick Kaleta (leg) skated as part of a four-man fourth line today with Clarke MacArthur, Matt Ellis and Mair.
"He had a good day yesterday and an even better day today, so he should be available for us tomorrow," Ruff said.