With the start of training camp now only a week away, Sabres players have been trickling into town and holding informal skates inside Harborcenter. Sam Reinhart was among the players on the ice Wednesday, and he took time to catch up with reporters afterward.
Reinhart's interaction with Ralph Krueger was among the topics covered, with the forward echoing teammates who have spoken optimistically about the new Sabres coach. Reinhart met with Krueger in person at the World Championships in Slovakia and again at the draft in Vancouver.
"A lot of good first impressions around here for sure," Reinhart said. "There's no dancing around that. First and foremost, he's a good person. He's easy to talk to. He goes out of his way to make it known what he wants out of you.
"We're only going to learn that more as we get going here into camp. We're looking forward to that communication and leadership that's going to come from him."
Reinhart enters 2019-20 looking to build off a career year in which he set personal best marks in even-strength goals (20), assists (43), points (65), and average ice time (18:57), then won a silver medal with Team Canada in Slovakia. We examined where he might fit in the Sabres' lineup in the opening piece of our camp countdown series.
"There are certain goals I set for the summer and coming into here," he said. "With both the staff here going into the summer and all my guys back home. I think we accomplished that. It gives me a lot of confidence moving forward into camp. I'm looking forward to getting things started."
We all are, Sam.
Here's what you need to know today.
What to watch at the Prospects Challenge
We're only a day away from the start of the Prospects Challenge at Harborcenter, which opens with a game between Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins at 3:30 p.m. followed by the Sabres taking on the New Jersey Devils at 7.
Did you know - New Jersey's Jack Hughes will become the third straight to No. 1 overall pick to make his pro exhibition debut at the Prospects Challenge? Nico Hischier skated for the Devils in 2017, while a guy named Dahlin introduced himself to the Sabres faithful with moves like this last season:
We went over the details of this weekend's event, from Buffalo's roster to the players to watch on opposing teams, here.
Check back later this afternoon for updates from practice, with the prospects slated to take the ice at 3 p.m.
Gionta inducted into U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame
Former Sabres captain Brian Gionta was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame on Wednesday, part of a five-person class that also includes Gary Bettman, Neal Henderson, Tim Thomas, and Krissy Wendell.
Gionta was an NCAA champion with Boston College, a Stanley Cup champion with the New Jersey Devils, and a two-time Olympian. He became the 43rd American born player to skate in 1,000 NHL games during his final season with the Sabres in 2016-17.
Oh, and he recently hung out with Andrew Peters to discuss his career over some bocce and garbage plates. Check that out below.
Video: Grillin' 'Em: Brian Gionta