The preseason is at an end, and yesterday, Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma confirmed that the men on the ice at practice would comprise the Sabres 2015-16 opening day roster. If you've been following the news from training camp, you can probably name all 23, but there's still a few interesting nuggets to mine.
The roster doesn't hold many surprises, but the Sabres did decide to keep most of their youth, with Sam Reinhart and Jake McCabe both making the cut, at least for now. Thanks to injuries to Zach Bogosian and some other knicks and bumps during camp, the team has kept eight defensemen, and just one extra forward.
Let's take a look at the opening day lineup, using yesterday's practice lines as a reference - note that these are not necessarily the opening day lines and pairings.
Matt Moulson - Ryan O'Reilly - Tyler Ennis
Evander Kane - Jack Eichel - Brian Gionta
Marcus Foligno - Zemgus Girgensons - Sam Reinhart
Nicolas Deslauriers - David Legwand - Johan Larsson / Jamie McGinn
Josh Gorges - Rasmus Ristolainen
Mike Weber - Cody Franson
Matt Donovan - Carlo Colaiacovo
Jake McCabe - Mark Pysyk
The Sabres also announced a few players were placed on injured reserve, which of course means they can hang out with the team and not count against the 23-man cap.
Bogosian will obviously jump right into the starting lineup when he returns (he's week to week) but one of the biggest surprises of camp was the play of rookie defenseman Brendan Guhle. While he's still a long shot to see the ice, the Sabres have said that they won't make a decision on whether to keep him or not until he's fully healthy. There's always the option to give Guhle a nine game tryout, but either way, he's made a big impression on Tim Murray and Dan Bylsma already.
The Sabres will open the season with this roster on Thursday, as they host the Ottawa Senators in their season and home opener.