By Mike Harrington
The Sabres wrapped up their final practice of the preseason Saturday afternoon in First Niagara Center and coach Ron Rolston firmed up several items with reporters during his daily briefing. Here's a quick rundown:
Nikita Zadorov: The 18-year-old defenseman, who just signed his entry-level contract on Wednesday, is going to be out for about two weeks after needing stitches to repair what Rolston called a "smashed" finger tip on his left hand. Zadorov suffered the injury blocking a shot on the penalty kill Friday night in Carolina. Rather than sending Zadorov back to junior, the Sabres could simply keep him here skating for the two weeks on injured reserve and not have him count against the 23-man roster limit.
The roster: The Sabres will take Sunday off and then open their preparations for Wednesday's opener in Detroit on Monday morning. The final 23-man roster doesn't have to be set until Monday at 3 p.m. but Rolston said the team has more meetings set for later today, so the bet here is the opening night lineup could be at practice Monday.
Rasmus Ristolainen: Zero surprise when Rolston said he's going to be on the team. He's been a top-six defender since day one of camp and Rolston said he was the team's best defenseman Friday night.
Luke Adam: The fall of the former second-round pick and NHL All-Star Rookie participant continued as he was put on waivers with the intent of sending him to Rochester.
The captaincy: Rolston said he will name a captain prior to the Detroit game. The most likely candidates remain Thomas Vanek or Steve Ott, although a case could instead be made for a player on a longterm contract like Christian Ehrhoff or Cody Hodgson.
Marcus Foligno: He has a shoulder strain and did not practice today but Rolston said he is fully expecting to have him in the lineup Wednesday.
Click below to hear Rolston's session with the media today where he talks about the lineup, the preseason, his solid goaltending and the importance of improvement on the special teams.