The numbers made the Buffalo Sabres' decision easy.
The team signed goaltender Aaron Dell in free agency with an NHL spot in mind but Dell got outplayed in preseason by a wide margin by returnee Dustin Tokarski. So instead of putting Dell behind starter Craig Anderson, the Sabres put him on waivers Wednesday with the intention of sending him to Rochester.
Tokarski, a 31-year-old who went nearly four years between NHL games, stopped 13 of 14 shots in the Sabres’ 5-4 shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday night.
Dell allowed three goals on 15 shots in starting the preseason opener in Columbus. In Tuesday's shootout loss in Pittsburgh, he allowed three goals on 22 shots and then made five saves in a nine-round shootout.
Save for one game in Binghamton last season, Dell has not played in the AHL since 2016. But his .838 save percentage in preseason was simply not good enough, especially when compared to the .965 mark Tokarski compiled.
So at present, barring future trade or waiver acquisitions, the Sabres goalies line up this way:
Rochester: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen-Dell
Cincinnati: Michael Houser-Mat Robson
The Sabres also placed defenseman Jimmy Schuldt on waivers Wednesday. Schuldt who played last season for Las Vegas' AHL team in Henderson, Nev., got a late start to camp for reasons that were never made clear by the team. He then returned to practice and played in one preseason game.