By John Vogl
Alexander Sulzer fell victim to the Sabres' youth movement at the start of the year. He's now part of the veteran renaissance.
Sulzer is up from Rochester and will play Sunday when the Sabres host Detroit. The 29-year-old had two goals and seven points in 10 games for the Amerks. He got the call Friday night after coach Ted Nolan and President of Hockey Operations Pat LaFontaine attended the Amerks' 3-2 loss to Utica.
"One of the reasons we went down was we wanted to see him play," Nolan said today after practice in Bud Bakewell Arena at Riverside Park. "He’s a veteran guy. Like I’ve said, we’ve got a lot of young talent here, and we’ve got to make sure they mature at the right pace. This guy’s a veteran guy that’s been around for a while, and he could have some stability back there for us.
"That’s what we’re looking for. We’re running around in our defensive zone too much. We just need guys to stay back. We’ve got one of the better goaltenders in the world, so we just have to make sure we protect back there and get the puck up to our forwards."
Sulzer is in his third season in the organization and has played 33 games for the Sabres with six goals and six assists. He practiced alongside Christian Ehrhoff.
"I’m just excited to be back and get the chance again, just trying to play my game and prove that the decision early in the year was wrong to send me down," Sulzer said. "It’s a complete new start. Like he’s mentioned many times, it’s a clean slate for everybody. Everybody deserves that. Things didn’t really work the way they were before, so they’re just trying to look at their options and evaluate after that. I really appreciate the chance."
Forward Cody McCormick was absent from practice and will miss at least a week.
"Cody’s banged up a little bit," Nolan said. "In the modern day you’ve got to say upper body or lower body. Pick your choice. He’s got one of them."
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