Daily Links for Friday, October 14

Happy Friday, folks! After a long week, the wait is finally over as Buffalo takes on Carolina tonight and christens the First Niagara Center with its first home Sabres game. How excited are you that hockey is back in Buffalo? Going to the game tonight? Let's hear it in the comments. After the break, a whole mess of photo tours with commentary on the new player facilities.

When Drew Stafford arrived at training camp last month, even head coach Lindy Ruff said he took a double-take when Stafford walked through the door.

A Few Things to Look Out For - Ice and Bites
On both offense and defense.

Sabres' Gerbe stands up for the troops - The Buffalo News
Forward provides points on the wing and tickets to military personnel.

Workers rush to finish First Niagara Center updates - The Buffalo News
The Sabres' new change rooms, workout area and video rooms have indeed been completed in time for the home opener Friday against Carolina. As for the rest of the building, it's a mad dash to the finish.

More Sabres Links:

The Locker Room Tour - The Willful Caboose
Kate's tour and accompanying commentary of the new locker rooms and player facilities.

Beautiful Renovation Work Complete - Game-Time Decision
A photo tour with some fabulous photos.

The Sabres New Locker Room – An Inside Peek - WNYMedia.net
Another picture tour of the new digs.

The Glass At The Bench Has Been Changed - WGR 550
The glass next to both benches in now rounded instead of a 90 degree angle. The is no glass between the Sabres bench and where Rob Ray stands for games and the glass between there and the visitors bench has been pulled back.

Around the NHL:

Connolly injury worse than originally feared - sportsnet.ca
After Thursday's practice, Tim Connolly said that his upper-body injury is worse than the team initially feared.

Crosby's full involvement in practice brings optimism - NHL.com
Penguins captain takes part in all phases of Thursday's practice.

Fraser: When do you NOT call a fighting major? - TSN
What weighs in the official's decision to not call a fighting major or to eject a player from the game if his jersey is not tied down? NHL on TSN analyst and former NHL referee Kerry Fraser has the answer - and by his own words, it's as clear as mud.

NHL Realignment: Hockey Should Look To NFL, MLB Model To Solve Problems - SBNation.com
The NHL will likely announce realignment in December. In order to solve travel and economic imbalance, the league should shift to a model that mirrors the NFL and MLB.

The 7 NHL veterans still livin’ the dream in minor leagues - Puck Daddy
Puck Daddy's list of seven players who refuse to call it quits, including two former Sabres.

Around the AHL: New look league - THN
The AHL has a few new looks, from a team to the standings and schedule, while the defending champs get off to a slow start.