Perhaps the Buffalo Sabres are finally getting healthy. Today they sent back Erik Burgdoerfer to the Rochester Americans after Josh Gorges and Dmitry Kulikov both took part in practice. While it’s not a guarantee that both will suit up tomorrow against the Washington Capitals, it is a good sign that they felt confident enough to send the 27-year old Burgdoerfer back down.
Burgdoerfer (or, Drew Stafford’s long-lost twin depending on who you believe) made his NHL debut on Monday night for the Sabres, playing just over ten minutes. Tuesday’s game two didn’t bring much more, but for an undrafted defenseman who struggled for parts of five seasons in the ECHL before even getting a sniff at the AHL level, it was a dream come true. A big part of the Hershey Bears’ Calder-Cup finals run last season, Burgdoerfer will return to likely play most of the rest of this year with the Americans.
Gorges skating with the team is an unbelievably quick turnaround for a player who as of Saturday was still in a walking boot after suffering a non-displaced fracture of his foot and was originally expected to be out “weeks”. Kulikov’s return may be more important to the team however, as they had expected the 26-year old to be a big part of their blueline after acquiring him from Florida in the offseason. The former 14th-overall pick has played in just 12 games this season, recording no points.