Only one day remains at the 2016 NHL Scouting Combine, and, by the sounds of it, Buffalo's second turn as host is going just as well – if not better – than when the city impressed the League as a first-time host one year ago.
It's going so well, in fact, that Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr reiterated his hopes for the Combine to remain in Buffalo beyond 2016 on Friday.
"Last year was a successful event," he said. "This year, with the full complex being made available to us, it's a fantastic venue here for us. The hospitality throughout with the Sabres, First Niagara Center, HARBORCENTER, has been great for us there.
"We are going to be sitting down and talking with [the Sabres] … we do have to do a new financial deal, it was a two-year deal, so we are going to be sitting down talking with them to see what their interest level is and we'll go back and the National Hockey League will make its decision sooner rather than later is what I hope."
The Combine was stationed at a hotel in Toronto prior to 2015, but Buffalo's advantage of having neighboring facilities had streamlined the process for the NHL. Testing is conducted at HARBORCENTER while interviews are done throughout the week on the PremCom Suite Level at First Niagara Center, with each club receiving its own suite.
This year, the completion of the Buffalo Marriott at HARBORCENTER has added even more convenience as the players can now stay in the same building where their testing will take place.
"We've found that the all under one roof concept works and so far no one else has presented us a venue that would allow us to do that," Marr said. "But obviously if the financial arrangements and the teams are in favor of another venue that comes to our attention then we'd have to consider it."
Sabres President Russ Brandon confirmed with The Buffalo News on Friday that talks with the League are ongoing and said that the team has been pleased with the experience of hosting the event thus far.