For the Rochester Americans leading goal scorer, last night was not just an ordinary Thursday night at the rink, in fact, there was nothing routine about yesterday for Phil Varone, who was informed on Wednesday that he would be making his NHL debut. It was a 48 hours full of emotion, excitement and likely a few nerves as he prepared to play in his first career NHL game after a long stint and lot’s of hard work in the AHL.
“When he told me the news, it brought some tears to my eyes.” ~ Phil Varone when he got the news. Quote from Buffalo hockey beat
When news broke that Varone finally being given his first NHL stint, I don’t think there was a fan or media member not pulling for the kid. He has worked hard over the past 3 years, and finally it had payed off. He played last night in front of family and friends who had stuck by him his whole career. Varone, ready to show the new Sabres brass he deserves some attention, stepped onto the ice at the First Niagara Center wearing blue and gold for the first time .
For Buffalo Sabres fans Varone’s debut was also a big deal, just on a much smaller scale. For a lot of fans Thursday night’s game was the first chance to see Phil Varone play and he didn’t disappoint. In his first NHL game he managed to rack up an assist in 10:36 of ice time while playing alongside Brian Flynn and Marcus Foligno. The kid already has as many points as John Scott, and it only took him 23 minutes!
Nolan has something here with the Foligno/Varone/Flynn line. #sabres
— Ryan Wolfe (@wolfeshc) January 24, 2014
After the game Ted Nolan seemed to be quite happy with Varone’s debut;
“I liked him, I thought he played well and made some good plays out there, overall really liked him.”
However, the real question lies with you the fans. What did you guys get out of your first look at Phil Varone? Did you like his game? Did he bring something new to the table? Obviously 10 minutes of ice isn’t nearly enough time to judge anyone, let alone a rookie in his first NHL game, but every player makes a first impression.
What did you think of Varone’s debut? Let us know in the comments below.