By Mike Harrington
During his pregame briefing with reporters today prior to the 3 p.m. faceoff against Ottawa, Sabres interim coach Ron Rolston made it pretty clear that the team's place near the bottom of the Eastern Conference was a key reason that T.J. Brennan was traded yesterday to Florida and Mikhail Grigorenko was shipped back to the Quebec Remparts. You want a firesale? The Sabres still seem to be shooting for eighth place.
"With where we were at as a team, it was difficult to give him an opportunity that he probably needed developmentally," Rolston said when asked about Grigorenko. "For our organization right now, the best thing for him would be to go play in the [Quebec League] playoffs get playoff experience, really be a really big part of that team and be in every situation."
Brennan couldn't find any ice time either and was dealt to Florida, where he will be reunited with Kevin Dineen, his former coach in Portland.
"It's just a real good opportunity for him," Rolston said. "He played with Kevin in Portland and they have a good feel for what he can do. I'm excited that he'll have a good opportunity there."
Brennan never showed the offensive abilities here that he did in Rochester. Maybe he would at some point. The Sabres weren't in a position to find out.
"There were signs of it here," Rolston said. "We were in a situation that we probably couldn't use him to the full amount in those capacities with where we were."
It will be Ryan Miller and Ben Bishop in goal today. The injury-riddled Senators are just 1-2-4 in their last seven games overall and 2-7-3 in their last 12 on the road. They've played 10 straight one-goal games, two shy of the NHL record of 12 set by Chicago in 1997-98.
Be sure to join me at 3 for today's live game blog and we'll have another matinee Sabres FlashChat during the second intermission. Click below to hear Rolston's chat with reporters.
taggedMikhail Grigorenko | Ron Rolston