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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 6:11 PM

By Lindsay Kramer -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Sabres Camp: Boyes back in comfort zone

BUFFALO -- Buffalo finally got to see the real Brad Boyes on Saturday -- or, at least how he'd define that term.

Boyes was back at his natural position of right wing, skating with Jochen Hecht and Matt Ellis. After the Sabres acquired him from St. Louis last season, injuries to Derek Roy and Hecht forced Buffalo to try Boyes at the much less familiar position of center. He contributed five goals and nine assists in 21 games.

Boyes stressed versatility over personal preference, but sounded like he's leaning right.

"I got pretty comfortable on the wing (previously). Moving to the middle changes your mindset. I'm looking forward to getting back,'' he said. "I'm not worried at all where I play. If they want me to play middle all season, I have no problem with that -- or vice versa."
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 3:23 PM

By Lindsay Kramer -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Sabres Camp: Depth key for busy preseason schedule

BUFFALO -- The fresh-faced Sabres will need every ounce of their youthful energy in preseason. Starting Monday, Buffalo plays five exhibition games in seven days.

"I'm not sure how that came about," goalie Ryan Miller said after the final skating session of the day. "Five in seven, with this many guys, I'm not sure it's going to be as big of a grind as we think."

Head coach Lindy Ruff said heavy rotation will be the preseason strategy.

"We're going to have to use a lot of personnel," Ruff said. "You don't want to over-use anyone."
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 3:22 PM

By Lindsay Kramer -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Sabres Camp: Numminen enjoying coaching role

BUFFALO -- Long-time NHL defenseman Teppo Numminen didn't need much convincing to take the ice again Saturday.

On the first day of full Buffalo camp, Numminen was officially named a new assistant coach of the team and happily skated during its practices. Numminen said he and Buffalo general manager Darcy Regier had informally talked about the hiring and that it gained serious traction right before preseason opened. The Sabres were Numminen's final NHL team, from where he retired after the 2008-09 season.

"We always had good talks about hockey. He said they are going to do something with me. I said, 'I'm in,'" Numminen said. "Everything is kind of new, but old. It's a great honor. I'm just really happy to be part of their (young players') career."
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 1:28 PM

By Lindsay Kramer -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Sabres Camp: Summer rest rejuvenates Roy

BUFFALO -- With the way his season ended last year, the low-key days of summer brought some extra peace of mind for Sabres forward Derek Roy.

Roy suffered a torn quadriceps muscle in his left leg last December and did everything he could to return in time for Buffalo's Game 7 loss to Philadelphia in the opening round of the playoffs. It was a tough way to jump back into action and Roy was well short of full strength.

But his doctors told him the extended off-season rest would settle his jangled nerves and rusty body. Saturday, Roy was zippping around with linemates Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville and said he didn't even recall last season's hectic return until it was brought up.

"After the final game, I talked to the medical guys," Roy said. "They said your knee is fully healed. He (the doctor) said get into your normal summer routine, you';ll get back into normal healing mode. It was a good summer of training. It was a more relaxing environment. Today was just another day of practice with my teammates. It was fun to be 100 percent."
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 1:27 PM

By Lindsay Kramer -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Sabres Camp: Vanek excited for Europe trip

BUFFALO -- The normal excitement of preseason carries a little extra juice for Buffalo forward Thomas Vanek.

The Sabres will begin their schedule with contests in Germany and Finland. Vanek, a native of Austria, predicts his team will be stirring up a buzz with its European tour.

"It's going to be great, not just for myself and my family but for the fans in general," Vanek said after his first practice of the season Saturday morning. "The game has grown so much over there."

Vanek will enjoy the hoopla, but won't rely on the semi-homecoming alone to put any more jump into his game.

"If there is a button like that (to play harder), I think I'd turn it on all the time," he said.
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 10:42 AM

By Lindsay Kramer -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Sabres Camp: Leino centering Ennis, Stafford

BUFFALO -- Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff didn't waste any time getting a look at what he said was one of his main objectives in camp. In the first of three sessions early Saturday morning, he tossed new forward Ville Leino into the middle of a line between Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford.

Leino played center earlier in his career, but was on the wing in Philadelphia. Buffalo, which signed him as a free agent, has for now moved Leino into the spot that was at times filled by departed pivot Tim Connolly last year.

"I think they are all good players. Both can score and make plays," Leino said after skating with his new partners. "Once we get clicking, we'll have a lot of fun. I felt good skating in the middle. For me, it's easier. It comes more natural."
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 10:40 AM

By Lindsay Kramer -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Sabres Camp: Traverse City trio hope to impress

BUFFALO -- If the momentum of the Traverse City prospects tournament carries over to the regular Buffalo training camp, the Sabres could be looking at a lot of youth pushing for jobs up front.

On the first day of full training camp Saturday, head coach Lindy Ruff kept the line of Marcus Foligno, Luke Adam and Zack Kassian together. That trio helped Buffalo's prospects win at Traverse City.

While it's unlikely that the three will all start the season in Buffalo, Adam, who played 19 games with the Sabres last year, said it doesn't hurt to make that the objective.

"We had a great tournament in Traverse City. Hopefully, we play together here this week, and it will carry over," Adam said Saturday morning. "The goal right now is to be here. Personally, it';s realistic. I'd be disappointed if I didn’t stick here."
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Quote of the Day

Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.

— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals