A good sign that everyone is getting healthy is the fact that the Rochester Americans have made some roster moves to send players elsewhere. The team announced today that Jonathan Parker, Shawn Szydlowski and Riley Boychuk have been sent down to the Gwinnett Gladiators. It’s a move that should have happened back in October. Those three players are nice guys but they weren’t finding ways to either put the puck in the net or even on the stick of a teammate to create goals.
Parker only had 3 goals + 3 assists for 6points in 37 games played. Last season with the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL he scored 45 goals + 41 assists in 71 games. Szydlowski was in a similar situation, he had 8 assists in 38 games. Last season with the Erie Otters in the OHL he scored 41 goals + 37 assists in 66 games. The transition to the pro game just wasn’t happening for them.
The move should have happened back in October to have them playing at a higher level than they were but not quite as high as the AHL for them to get their games adjusted and work their way up. What happened instead is that due to the lack of players in the Amerks lineup they were handed positions on this team instead of earning them. It’s something that Ron Rolston has said from the beginning that players were given roles instead of earning them.
With this move it’s likely safe to assume that both Evan Rankin and Colin Stuart will be back in action this weekend. Confirmation will come in the next day or two but there’s no other reason healthy players would be sent away if this wasn’t the case. There’s also a chance Zack Kassian could be on his way back by the weekend as well assuming Cody McCormick is back in action. Again, we can only hope.
Now that it’s the middle of February this Amerks team is almost looking like a team that should’ve been on the ice from the start. We’ll give Luke Adam a pass on his first game this past Saturday and expect more out of him this weekend. Mike Ryan is returning to game shape and getting his timing back. Rankin could be the scorer that the team needed from the beginning. There’s still some holes but it looks better on paper than it has.
The injured list will soon be down to just Matt MacKenzie and Joe Finley. Alex Biega is expected back this weekend.