Buffalo Sabres Puck Drop opens today at HSBC arena, as veterans are reporting, and conditioning tests begin at 930 am. The event is open to the public, and select concession stands will be open for fans eager to get the first taste of hockey. Sadly, I will be unable to attend this year, I am moving today.
While the questions in Buffalo are not as great as the ones going on in Glendale, there are some issues for the Sabres to be concerned with.
Adam Mair wont be in camp today, or at all as surgery has the forward recovering until the season starts. Could be a tough shell for Mair to break when he gets back, as there are 15 forwards coming to camp to fight for 12 positions, and his play as of late does not lock him into a spot.
Drew Stafford if there is one thing that Sabres GM Darcy Regier and player agent Neily Sheehy agree on, its that they don’t know where Stafford stands when it comes to Stafford joining the team before they hit the ice. Stafford is obviously looking for a pay raise, as his play on the team has been towards the top of the other forwards. In his longest NHL campaign last year, he scored 20 goals, added 25 helpers, was a plus 3, and only spent 29 minutes in the penalty box. 13 of his 20 goals came on the power play – so you can see where he would want to get paid, yet the Sabres are again stalling over money.
Mark Mancari was tied last year for the scoring lead in Portland, and has spent the last four years in the minors, and has left the Sabres opening offer on the table, in the hopes that the Sabres will trade him to a team not as deep, so he has a better chance of staying in the NHL.
12 open forwards spots, 15 on the ice. 6 open defense positions, 9 in camp. The only thing for certain, Lalime backs up Miller. The rest, well, lets drop the puck and find out.