The Buffalo Sabres activated goalie Eric Comrie from injured reserve Monday afternoon after finishing his conditioning stint with the AHL’s Rochester Americans, according to a team tweet. Promising young netminder Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was returned to Rochester in a corresponding transaction.
Comrie was recalled from a conditioning stint last weekend after missing roughly six weeks with an undisclosed injury.
His first season in Buffalo has been a brief roller coaster. He’s had above a .900 save percentage in just four of his 11 appearances for Buffalo but has shown the ability to steal games occasionally. On the year, Comrie has a 4-7-0 record, a 3.62 goals-against average, and a .887 save percentage.
While the 27-year-old Comrie is a capable, experienced backup, he may have been surpassed on the organizational depth chart by Luukkonen. His re-assignment to Rochester is, more than anything, a quick fix to get Comrie back on the active roster now that he’s healthy.
Just 23 years old, Luukkonen is amidst a personal six-game winning streak. He’s faced at least 40 shots in four of those six games. His .891 save percentage on the season is bogged down by some early-season stinkers, and most in Sabres circles expect Luukkonen to get back in the Buffalo crease sooner rather than later.
The fact that Buffalo has grown into possessing three NHL-capable goaltenders is impactful to the performance and health of Craig Anderson. He’s been Buffalo’s best goalie this season by a mile, posting an incredulous .923 save percentage. But he’s started just 13 games, and at 41 years old, his workload will be limited. It’ll be up to Comrie now to keep his place on the Sabres roster, with Luukkonen waiting in the wings.