Schutz booted from Pirates ship

Per Chris Roy of the Maine Hockey Journal, Sabres prospect Felix Schutz is being designated for assignment and no longer part of the Pirates organization.

This move isn't much of a surprise, as Schutz has encountered tough treading in the AHL after a semi-successful ramp-up in the DEL three seasons ago. Chosen in the fourth round of the 2006 draft, the 5'11 center missed a good chunk of time in 2009-10 after getting KO'd in his first professional fight and from there had difficulty finding quality minutes upon return. Portland coach Kevin Dineen basically saw him as a tweener player in the bottom six mix; not quite gifted enough to consistently man a third line spot yet not having enough speed, grit, and physical wherewithal to lock down a spot on the fourth line. Because of this, he was left off Portland's clear-day roster last season in preparation for the playoffs.

Schutz, 22, returned to Buffalo this fall for training camp, where he put forth an average effort while nearly coming to blows with Nathan Gerbe in the final scrimmage of rookie camp. Nearly coming to blows seems to have been the common theme for the German this fall, as Roy mentions a near-fight with Travis Turnbull this week in a Pirates practice.

While we wait to hear where Schutz lands this season, my best guess would be a return over the pond to find his center with Ingolstadt of the DEL.
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