The Buffalo Sabres will start training camp in the next couple of days, depending on when the new CBA is ratified by the NHL Board of Governors and the NHLPA, but many outlets see a weekend start for most teams and a Jan. 19 puck drop for the 2013 season.
Many Sabres are in Buffalo already and skated at the Northtowns Center in Amherst, N.Y. to gear up for training camp. The Sabres who participated in the skate today include Thomas Vanek, Drew Stafford, Tyler Ennis, Steve Ott, Ville Leino, Matt Ellis, Mike Weber, Jordan Leopold and Pat Kaleta. As of right now, the players who are currently with the Rochester Americans in the AHL will remain there, at least for practicing purposes. The Amerks whowill join the Sabres camp when it begins include Cody Hodgson, Marcus Foligno, Luke Adam and TJ Brennan with Brayden McNabb, Kevin Porter and Mark Mancari potentially joining as well, but they will be unlikely to stick at the NHL level.
In what may be a surprise to some, Mikhail Grigorenko will be at camp skating with the team. Quebec Remparts reporter Kathleen Lavoie tweeted a picture of Grigorenko’s empty locker room stall in the team’s facility, stating that he’s on his way to Buffalo for camp.
Many were speculating whether or not Grigorenko was going to be able to participate in camp, especially given a report from December that stated the Sabres guaranteed the Remparts that Grigorenko would be available to them, whether the lockout ended or not.
However surprised some may be that Grigorenko is being given a chance to make the Sabres, a look at his play in the QMJHL and the World Junior Championships should alleviate any of it. Grigorenko has been simply dominant in the QMJHL and was arguably the best player on a bronze-winning, but somewhat disappointing, Russian squad at the World Junior Championship.
All Sabres players are reportedly healthy to start the season and it seems as though most will be back stateside by mid-week at the latest, as Jason Pominville, Christian Ehrhoff, Alexander Sulzer, Tyler Myers and Jhonas Enroth are still overseas.
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