First-rounder Noronen is third guy out

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:26 AM ET

It's hard to argue with Buffalo's goaltending situation when Ryan Miller and Martin Biron have made the Sabres one of the best teams in the NHL - but Mika Noronen wants out.

The first-round pick from 1997 wishes Buffalo the best, but he isn't getting a sniff behind the big two and figures a change of scenery would be best for everyone.

"I guess (three goalies) has been working pretty good because we've been winning games," said the 26-year-old Finn. "But from my part it's really a bad situation. I've been trying to ask from them to get out of it but it looks like I'm stuck right now.

"I'm working hard and keeping myself ready to play and hoping that I'm going somewhere or somebody else is going so I might get some games."

Right now the Sabres are content with the status quo - Miller gets most of the work, Biron gets the rest and Noronen gets the blue moon starts.

"It hasn't been by any means easy on Mika Noronen," said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff.

"In a lot of ways it hasn't been fair. It wouldn't be an athlete's nature to sit there, not even dress for games and not want to play.

"He wants playing time. It gets uncomfortable at times. He's handled it very well."

Noronen has been a good team guy, but when you ask him the honest question he gives you the honest answer.

"It's OK for the one guy who is playing and for the guy backing up," he said. "For the third guy like me, it's really a bad situation and nobody enjoys it. Nobody enjoys practising every day and not playing. It's hard to find a reason to practise hard because you can't see any playing time

"They said it was going to (be rectified) out of training camp, but it's been four months and nothing has happened. Hopefully something happens soon."


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