The Buffalo Sabres began their training camp in grand fashion Saturday at the HSBC Arena. An adult street hockey tournament took place outside while the Sabres began their preparations for the 2008-2009 season inside the building. They had a scrimmage game to please the fans and Mark Mancari scored two goals (does he have a shot to make this team?). The scrimmage game played second fiddle to the unveiling of the new third jersyey and the big news afterward.
New Third Jersey Unveiled
We had a preview of the new third jersey on the site, we posted a link from the The Buffalo News. It is exactly what we thought it would be but it looks even better when the players are wearing it. I'm sure the fans cheered loudly when the players came out wearing the new jersey. Sabres.com has a nice piece with pictures and a video.
|Blank Adult Replica||$124|
|Lettered Adult Replica||$179|
|Blank Youth Replica||$104|
|Lettered Youth Replica||$159|
Prices include sales tax
It's incredible how much the price of a jersey has gone up over the past couple of years. How is anyone going to afford a jersey that will cost a minimum of $124 when the price of gas and food is so high? It's going to cost $179 if you want a players name on the back of it...I'll stick with my Danny Gare jersey.
Darcy Regier signs two-year extension
This may be the biggest news that came out of the weekend. I'm sure there are people who have strong feelings on this subject and I do as well. Like Kevin from BfloBlog, I am a Sabres apologist. I think Darcy Regier has done an outstanding job molding this team into what could be a Stanley Cup contender in the very near future. Regier has made some mistakes but definitely not to the extent that the media and some fans want you to believe. I'll say it one more time..."There was no way we could have kept Drury, Briere and Campbell", the only one they have made a mistake on is Chris Drury.
Hank and Toni break up
Lindy Ruff spoke after practice yesterday and talked about his defensive pairings, ackowledging that Tallinder would play with Teppo Numminen and newly acquired Craig Rivet would play with Lydman. The third pairing will be youngster Andrej Sekera playing with power play specialist Jaro Spacek. He also stated that Mike Weber and Nathan Paetsch would both be given an equal opportunity to make the Sabres opening day roster.
It a great move to split up the Tallinder-Lydman pairing for a couple of reasons. Last season it became painfully obvious that the pairing was not as dominant as in the past, in fact they were mostly ordinary. Tallinder was the more consistent of the two so he plays with the older steady Teppo Numminen and Lydman tries to rebound from a bad season by playing with Rivet, the Sabres biggest off-season acquistion.
I agree that Sekera was the obvious choice as the sixth defenseman but I am surprised that Lindy made it public this early in camp. It will be interesting to see how Paetsch reacts to the situation, considering he was once considered an automatic roster spot. If some young guys develop in Portland there could be a chance the Sabres try to move Paetsch during the season to acquire more draft picks.
It is only one day into training camp and the Sabres have already suffered some key injuries. It appears they are not serious but it's not something you want to deal with already.
---Injuries: Thomas Vanek (pinched nerve in the knee) and Paul Gaustad (bruised shoulder) are going to sit out the exhibition games Monday at Toronto and Tuesday against Montreal in Roberval, Quebec. Vanek's injury actually happened during his physical Friday while Gaustad was injured in Saturday's scrimmage. ... Teppo Numminen did not play in the scrimmage but practiced after it. ... Adam Mair (knee) skated on his own and coach Lindy Ruff said he may be ready for the final preseason game and could potentially be in the lineup for the opener.
The above was taken directly from this piece on the The Buffalo News Sabres Blog, Sabres Edge.
I know it's hard to believe but the Pre-Season begins tomorrow against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Feel free to join us for the open thread that will be posted about a half hour before the game starts.