Gragnani en route; Tyler keep your phone on

The Buffalo Sabres have recalled defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani from the Portland Pirates (AHL). In his second professional season, the 6'2 Quebec native has four goals and 26 assists and is +3. This is the second NHL call-up for Gragnani, and his first of the 2008-09 season. A puck moving defenseman drafted in the 3rd round in 2005 (PEI - QMJHL), Gragnani scored 14 goals and 52 total points for Rochester in 2007-08 while playing the majority of his shifts as a forward as the year wore on. In a two-game stint with Buffalo as a left wing, Gragnani was called for a pair of hooking minors. Allowed to focus on just one position this season, Gragnani has settled into a better defensive posture while excelling on the power play. Expect a better player with this visit. Buffalo was forced to make a call after Henrik Tallinder injured his shoulder in a mid-week loss at Tampa. The organizational depth is running on fumes with Andrej Sekera, Teppo Numminen, Mike Weber, and Mike Funk also banged up, and Mike Card ill. First-year man Mike Kostka is the only healthy contract on Portland's blueline at the moment. Aside from Kostka's availability, what would happen if another injury were to take place? I think there are two options to consider. The easy, financially responsible scenario is that, just like Gragnani and Nathan Paetsch, Mark Mancari has some two-way experience and it still shows in his game. Perhaps a hole could be patched on an emergency basis. The other, more intriguing emergency option would be to to call Tyler Myers out of Kelowna (WHL). Yes it is early, but those who don't think he's going to make a push to be in Buffalo next season after another eight months of development would benefit from a mid-season temperature check on his progress. The World Juniors is not the NHL, but his gold-medal showing was a solid step in the right direction, and a brief, well-managed call would be another confidence builder for the 12th overall pick last June. Heck, with a two-game swing through Alberta this week, it'd be a short, familiar trip for the 6'7-1/2 Calgary native.
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Anonymous
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Sunday, January 25, 2009 ×

When would the Sabres legally (CBA) be allowed to call Myers up on an emergency basis? This happens every once and a while with golaies but rarely with skaters. I certainly think he could benefit form a 3-5 game look see.

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Kris Baker
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Sunday, January 25, 2009 ×

A non-goalie CHL->NHL jump happened last year with Philly calling up Claude Giroux out of Gatineau, but he had signed a deal before training camp (before heading back to the Q).

Iff Myers was to get a call, it would be the usual parameters to my knowledge. Sign him, dine him, and if he plays in excess of nine games, he'd accrue that year of service while being able to go back to the Dub at any time. I'll search for info suggesting otherwise, but I'm assuming that's how it'd go down.

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Anonymous
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Sunday, January 25, 2009 ×

To be honest if in the best interest of the all the teams i say myers plays a couple of games (for either the sabres or the pirates) because hes doing a pretty good job in the WHL, I say Darcy test him to see how ready Myers is at this point for either the NHL or the AHL.

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Kris Baker
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Sunday, January 25, 2009 ×

The AHL is out of the question this year and next. It's NHL or WHL, as Myers is still just 18. He won't turn 19 until Feb. 1, and you have to be 20 by 12/31 of the current season to skate in the AHL.

The AHL would love to have him, but a private agreement between the CHL and NHL prevents the A from sucking the CHL well dry.

If Myers had played more than 25 games for Kelowna in 2006-06, he'd have four "completed" seasons of juniors to nullify the rule. He only played in nine as a 15-16 year old though, so he's locked in with this being his third full season.

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