DETROIT -- The Joel Armia Era, eagerly awaited by rabid followers of Buffalo Sabres prospects, begins tonight in Joe Louis Arena.
Armia, the shifty Finnish winger who was Buffalo's No. 1 draft choice in 2011, will make his NHL debut in the Sabres' game against the Detroit Red Wings after the Sabres recalled him from the Rochester Amerks.
The team has not officially announced the move but Coach Ted Nolan revealed the decision this morning on his weekly show on WGR Radio.
Nolan said captain Brian Gionta and winger Marcus Foligno, both injured in Sunday's 4-3 overtime loss at Boston will both be out tonight -- and said Foligno is out "months" with his hand injury suffered in a fight with Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski.
Nolan said Patrick Kaleta, who missed Sunday's game due to illness, is flying to Detroit but Matt Moulson remains home. The coach also said Tyler Myers (lower body) is out on a week to week basis.
Nolan hinted at an Armia callup following Sunday's 4-3 overtime loss in Boston. Armia had missed nine games with an upper-body injury and just returned to the Rochester lineup last week.
The Sabres thus didn't want the 21-year-old to play three games in three nights so close to the injury, with the final one at the NHL level.
But when Nolan was asked about Armia for Tuesday, his answer was crystal-clear: "It's not 3 in 3 now."
The 6-foot-3, 187-pound Armia was Buffalo's No. 16 overall pick in 2011. He has seven goals and nine assists in 21 games for Rochester, already equaling his goal total from last year's professional debut season.
Armia had seven goals and 20 assists in 54 games last year for the Amerks. He added three goals and three assists for Rochester in last year's playoff loss to Chicago.
The injuries and illness in Buffalo have decimated the Amerks, as Armia, Johan Larsson, Mikhail Grigorenko, Mark Pysyk and Tim Schaller are all with the Sabres. Rochester doesn't play again until hosting Lake Erie and Toronto Friday and Saturday nights.