Sabres Training Camp Starts Today

Some new things between the Sabres and NHL to take note of

Richard Root
September 14, 2017 - 6:07 am
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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - The Buffalo Sabres will open their training camp today.  It signals the beginning of another long NHL season.

Lots happened since April when the Sabres ended their season 26th in the league. Their first move was to conduct the second front-office house cleaning in three and half years.

In early May, the Sabres hired Jason Botterill as their new General Manager.  Botterill came from the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, and was considered largely responsible for the Penguins’ success over the past decade.

The Penguins wound up beating the Nashville Predators for the Stanley Cup last season, and Botterill was, understandably, there for the celebration.  Or, was he there JUST for the celebration?

It only took four days after the Stanley Cup Playoffs ended for Botterill, and the Sabres, to announce they hired former Sabre Phil "Wowie" Housley as the Sabres' new head coach.

Housley had been an assistant coach for the Predators over four seasons, and was praised for what he accomplished with Nashville's defense.  

There are lingering questions with the roster, like when, or if, Jack Eichel will sign a contract extension.  What will the Sabres do with  Evander Kane?  Will Robin Lehner remain as the de facto starting goalie? Will the defense improve this year?

With camp starting, we will see how the roster shakes out, and we're also likely to get glimpses of the Sabres new system.  

"We're going to play fast, we're going to play with speed," Coach Housley told the Instigators, "I know they're old cliches, but we really have to have a five-man attack because in today's game your D have to be mobile."

"We're going to try and implement that in training camp, and I think the guys will really like it when they grasp it," Housley said.

There are a few rule changes that will definitely change the game experience this season.

First, is the coaches' off-side challenge has been tweaked. Now an off-side challenge will result in a two-minute penalty against the club who made the challenge if it fails.  This only applies to off-side challenges; goalie challenges remain the same.

Secondly, teams who ice the puck can no longer call a time-out after doing so.  The team who did not ice the puck can still call a time-out on the play if they wish.

Back to the Sabres, it's just physicals and testing today.  Tomorrow the Sabres will hold an open practice.

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