Good Monday morning, Buffalo Sabres fans. How are we all feeling today? A lot’s happened in the last week, between Tim Murray’s free agent pickups and catching our breath after all the NHL Draft hype. There’s now just 94 days until opening night at the First Niagara Center, so it’s really time to start focusing on what’s ahead.
First up is Buffalo Sabres development camp, coming to FNC next week. Prospects will participate in on- and off-ice drills and it’s a great way to get a first look at some of the new kids, including a few who could be on the team as early as next season. A mix of young, developing rookies and experienced veterans — including those picked up last week via free agency — is exactly what the team needs [TWC News].
This is a good point. The Sabres have generally been a young team over the past few years. While I’m of the belief that age is just a number, it is important to have those seasoned vets in the mix who can provide leadership and experience. It’s hard to run an NHL team full of guys who have barely gotten their feet wet in the AHL. The youth bring a different energy to the game, but the veterans are just as important. That goes for the AHL level, too. Bringing in guys like Tyson Strachan to the Rochester Americans will only make that team better and help those already on the team to grow and further develop their game.
Although the Buffalo Sabres didn’t quite win the Stanley Cup this year, hockey’s most coveted prize did make an appearance (sort of) nearby. Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown brought the Cup to Ithaca, NY this past weekend for the second time in three seasons. Brown’s day with the Cup included a public appearance where fans could get a photo with the Cup for a $5 donation, with proceeds going to local charities. [Syracuse.com]
Going to see a player with the Cup is always a neat experience. I’ve been fortunate enough to have that experience when Pat Kane brought the Cup back to Buffalo in recent years. I just can’t even begin to imagine what it would feel like to have my hometown team and my favorite players win the Cup…. Can you imagine it? All of those headlines reading things like “BUFFALO SABRES WIN THE STANLEY CUP” ….. it’s got to be an incredible feeling.
Make all the jokes you want about Buffalo never winning a Cup, but don’t worry, we’re used to it. Rejection is something we’ve gotten used to in this city; being the butt of everyone’s jokes, etc. So it’s always nice when someone turns around and acknowledges the positives of Buffalo, or chooses our city over another — like Josh Gorges did. [TBN]
Next stop in the NHL….. Seattle?
Could former NHLer Wayne Gretzky be interested in bringing an NHL team to the city of Seattle? It’s uncertain at this point whether that’d be a new expansion team or relocating a team, but it’s an interesting thought. Bettman has said in the past that the league isn’t interesting in expanding, so it’d mean relocating an already established team. And Seattle would have its challenges, starting with the fact that there’s no arena there.
According to the New York Post, Gretzky is a member of one of three groups vying for an NHL team in Seattle. [NYP] …. but Gretzky’s agent was quick to deny those reports, saying that Gretzky gets calls all the time to gauge his interest in various cities, and Seattle is no different. [The Hamilton Spectator]
Finally, NHL.com says that the Boston Bruins are “on the outside” as other teams in the Atlantic Division are making significant efforts to improve their rosters this offseason. For once, it’s nice to see the Buffalo Sabres included in that list.