The NHL announced the full rosters for this year's All-Star Weekend in Ottawa, and two Sabres will be headed to Canada's capital at the end of January. Jason Pominville was among the 36 players named to the All-Star Game lineup, and Luke Adam was one of 12 rookies selected to participate in the Skills Competition.
The All-Star Game takes place on Sunday, January 29 (4 p.m.), while the Skills Compeition is January 28 at 7 p.m. Scotiabank Place will host both events.
"It's a pretty cool opportunity, should be a fun weekend," Pominville said today following practice. "I'm obviously excited. I've been used to having a little bit of a break, but I guess this year will be a little different."
The All-Star Game selection continues a whirlwind season for Pominville, who was named Buffalo's captain during the team's trip to Europe in October. He leads the Sabres in scoring with 14 goals and 43 points in 42 games, which is also good for 11th in league scoring.
Adam was on the ice taking part in a photo shoot when the rosters were announced this afternoon. He was unaware of his selection until being greeted by reporters on his way into the locker room.
"I'm pretty excited, that's pretty neat," said a beaming Adam. "To play in the NHL, and now go to the All-Star Game and meet those guys … it's going to be an honor."
Adam will only take part in Saturday's skills event, and already has an idea of which competition he might want to avoid.
"Last year in the AHL All-Star Game I did Accuracy Shooting -- but only went three-for-eight. Maybe I'll do that, but I'm going to have to get into the shooter tutor before I go."
Thomas Vanek returned to the ice today after missing Wednesday's practice with a bout of food poisoning he contracted in Toronto on Monday. He still wasn't feeling 100 percent today.
"It felt good to be out there and get a sweat. I'm just a little weak from not eating. Hopefully get some food and electrolytes and feel better tomorrow."
Vanek tried to play through his illness, but only lasted six shifts during the opening period of Buffalo's 2-0 loss to the Maple Leafs.
"To be honest, after the first period I don't even remember my shifts. I felt weak and dizzy, and just got to the point where I couldn't help out my team anymore."
Today's practice was streamed live on sabres.com, and head coach Lindy Ruff was mic'd up throughout the entire 40 minutes. He tried not to let it affect his normal approach on the ice.
"I don't think you completely forget about it. A little different obviously," Ruff explained. "We really wanted to get an up-tempo practice and really get the legs driving today. I thought with the special teams practice mixed into the middle of it, we got what we wanted."