By Bill Hoppe
BUFFALO — With an NHL lockout likely hitting at midnight tonight, the Sabres loaned 20 AHL-eligible players, including forwards Marcus Foligno and Cody Hodgson, to the Rochester Americans on Friday.
Also assigned were: forwards Luke Adam, Riley Boychuk, Brian Flynn, Zemgus Girgensons, Jacob Lagace, Jonathan Parker, Kevin Sundher, Shawn Szydlowski, Corey Tropp, Phil Varone; defensemen Alex Biega, Nick Crawford, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, Matt MacKenzie, Brayden McNabb, Mark Pysyk; goalies Connor Knapp and Nathan Lieuwen.
The Sabres also sent forwards Kevin Porter and Nick Tarnasky to Rochester (pending waivers) during a special pre-lockout assignment period.
In addition, the Sabres loaned forwards Joel Armia, Daniel Catenacci and Mikhail Grigorenko back to their junior teams.
The Sabres have also signed goalie Andrey Makarov to a three-year, entry-level contract.
The 19-year-old Russian went 29-21-1-1 with a 3.01 goals-against average, .913 save percentage and two shutouts last season with the Western Hockey League’s Saskatoon Blades. He has been assigned back to the Blades.