December 11: The Sabres announced that they have returned Murray on loan to Rochester after yesterday’s recall. Murray did not play in last night’s loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins and has not played in the NHL since last season, though he has been impactful as a member of the Americans.
December 10: The Buffalo Sabres have announced four roster moves in advance of tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. First, they placed defenseman Henri Jokiharju and forward Vinnie Hinostroza on injured reserve. To fill those two roster spots, the team recalled forward Brett Murray and defenseman Kale Clague from their AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans.
Per Sabres coach Don Granato, as relayed by Noted Hockey’s Joe Yerdon, Jokiharju is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury. That’s a major loss for the Sabres as they look to climb back into the Wild Card race.
While Jokiharju’s offensive production (four points in 16 games) isn’t anything to write home about, he was playing over 20 minutes per night (fourth-most on the Sabres) and playing nearly three minutes on the penalty kill per game on the Sabres’ top penalty kill unit.
In Jokiharju’s place, the Sabres bring up Clague, who they signed this offseason to a one-year, $750K two-way deal. Clague has split time between Buffalo and Rochester this year, scoring six points in 14 AHL games and one point in seven NHL games.
In his NHL action so far this year Clague has played just under 16 minutes a night with no penalty-killing time, meaning Granato will need to look to his current stable of blueliners to fill the void left by Jokiharju’s injury.
Hinostroza, 28, is placed on injured reserve just a week after Granato said, per The Buffalo News’ Lance Lysowski, that he had been nursing a day-to-day minor injury. The former Chicago Blackhawk has eight points in 15 games so far this season while playing in a limited role.
He’ll be replaced on the roster by Murray. The 24-year-old was a 2016 fourth-round pick of the Sabres out of the CCHL’s Carleton Place Canadians and signed in Buffalo after a two-year collegiate career as a Penn State Nittany Lion, as well as a final year in the USHL in 2018-19. Murray has nine goals and 15 points in 22 AHL games so far this year and scored six points in 19 NHL games last season.