The Rochester Americans could possibly lose forward Luke Adam to its parent club, the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, since Adam has posted 13 goals in the first 14 games in the 2013-14 AHL season.
Adam, who was drafted by Buffalo in the second round of the 2008 NHL entry draft, has spent the majority of the previous two seasons with the Amerks. Despite being a former AHL All-Star, Adam’s career with the Amerks has been anti-climactic. Before the start of this season, Adam had only 19 goals in 94 games with the Americans. Paired with mediocre defensive play and a poor attitude, Adam was largely considered a bust for the Sabres and a disappointing player in Rochester.
Adam improved his attitude this season, and rather than focus on how Buffalo has been doing, he seems to be concentrating on doing whatever he can to help the Amerks win hockey games.
“In past years I was focused on that and it hurt me, so I’m focusing on what’s in my hands and focusing on what I can do well,” Adam said.
The improved attitude and work ethic have paid off, as Adam has been on fire, scoring 13 goals in 14 games with the Amerks this season. The Newfoundland native’s 13 tallies are good for first in the AHL, and have catapulted the Amerks to a North division lead in the Western Conference. Adam has also recorded an impressive 28.3 shot percentage, and has seven power play goals this season. At only 23-years old, Adam is maturing rapidly this season and could be on his way to stardom in the NHL.
However, Adam’s success can hurt the Amerks later this season, as the struggling Sabres may call up the fourth-year forward to aid their lethargy in the scoring department. One possible reason for the delay of Adam’s call-up to the NHL is that he was rumored to be in the dog-house of the Darcy Regier regime for Buffalo. Last Wednesday saw the dismissal of Sabres head coach Ron Rolston and GM Darcy Regier, with former Buffalo coach Ted Nolan hired as the new skipper for the Sabres.
This could very well mean that Adam could be called up soon, as Buffalo sits at the bottom of the Eastern Conference of the NHL. The Sabres have only scored 39 goals this season, and have a record of 5-15-1.
Although a positive for Adam’s career in the NHL, the Amerks will lose a dynamic player. This could definitely hurt the club’s chances at the Calder Cup, as their next leading goal scorer is Mike Zigomanis with only five goals. The Amerks will have to rely on the play of centerman Phil Varone, who is second on the team with 16 points, 12 of those being assists. The Amerks also will have to lean on goaltender Matt Hackett, who has had somewhat of a rollercoaster season. After a horrendous start that saw him swimming in penalty minutes for misconduct, Hackett has controlled his temper and tightened up his play, posting a 2-1-2 record and a .925 save percentage in the month of November.
Only time will tell, but the better Adam plays, the more it could hurt Rochester in the long run this season.