With Sabres defenseman Jordan Leopold expected to be sidelined for an extended period of time due to injury, Pirates defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani was recalled from Portland (AHL) and practiced with the Sabres on Monday.
Gragnani has appeared in three games with Buffalo already this season, averaging 13:32 of ice time in those games. He also ranks second on the Pirates in scoring this season with 60 points (12-48-60) in 63 games.
Gragnani is currently the seventh defenseman on the roster but also has the ability to play forward, which played into the decision to call him up, according to Ruff.
“We’ve looked at our defense, and it’s easier to have an extra defenseman here. (Gragnani) has played some forward, so we’ve talked about that,” Ruff said.
Mark Mancari also practiced with the Sabres on Monday. He had been returned to Portland prior to Saturday night’s game, but Ruff informed the media today that Mancari had been brought back under emergency conditions because Mike Grier aggravated his knee on Saturday and did not practice Monday. However, Ruff does not expect Grier to miss Tuesday’s game at Toronto.
“(Grier) is doing ok, we just decided to give him an extra day. He’s a little sore but I don’t expect it to be anything that will keep him away from playing,” Ruff said.