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Sabres happy to be hosting NHL Scouting Combine

by Joe Yerdon

BUFFALO -- Buffalo Sabres president Ted Black has enjoyed the role the Sabres are playing as host of the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine this week.

It's the first time the Combine has been held outside Toronto. Events this week are taking place at First Niagara Center and HarborCenter.

"I think it's, selfishly, good for our franchise and for our city," Black said Thursday. "We're a member club, we're one of 30, so we appreciate the responsibility that carries to do what's best for the League, which is really our first priority."

Black said the Sabres have worked on getting the Combine to Buffalo for the past two years. They will host the Combine and NHL Draft next year.

"We will make mistakes this week, believe me, and we probably made a lot," he said. "But we want to learn from them and we will probably go to neutral corners when this is over and decompress. But we're very anxious to hear from the other teams, from Central Scouting, what can we do better. I think that's any advantage to having something like this over multi-years because you can improve it. You're not re-inventing the wheel each year."

Black said with the Combine and draft in Buffalo next year, he wouldn't mind seeing the Combine turn into more of a public event.

"At the end of the day this is a League property," Black said. "We want to be good hosts first and foremost. [The Combine] doesn't put the players on the ice; that's going to be a League decision, perhaps a general managers decision. What it does is it brings it into a facility that can evolve that way. We have probably the nicest campus in the NHL; certainly the only three-rink campus in the NHL, over 1.35 million square feet all under one contiguous roof. I think it lends itself to those expansion opportunities to engage the fans either in the building or certainly online or on television."

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