One of the most difficult parts about being injured is being away from your teammates. You miss the camaraderie when the team is on the road and you are home rehabbing, and recovery can begin to feel like a marathon at times.
I fell into that slump while I rehabbed following my injury this season. The interactions I had with fans during that time made a world of difference to me.
It happened everywhere. I could be at the grocery store and people would come up to me, wishing me good luck with my rehab. If felt great to receive that sort of kindness during a stressful time. It goes to show how people go above and beyond to show they care in this town.
That mentality has stuck out to me and my family ever since we came to Buffalo. I have never had a negative interaction with a fan. It could be out in public or after practice, I'm always struck by how genuine people are about the Sabres. They are 100-percent bought in.
Sabres fans are authentic. I might talk to an older fan, and the conversation always comes back to the fact that they have loved this team since the '80s or since the franchise started. No matter what happened in a game the night before, the conversation always ends on a positive note.
At the end of every conversation, I walk away feeling like they care about Linus Ullmark the person, not the hockey player. I'm thankful for that.