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Sharpen Up: September 4, 2019

Here's what you need to know on Wednesday

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Prospects Challenge begins Friday and the Sabres will be back on the ice for training camp next week. It's almost hockey season.

Here's what you need to know.

 

Get ready for the Prospects Challenge

The fifth annual Prospects Challenge will run from Sept. 6 to 9 at Harborcenter. All three of the Sabres' games in the tournament will be streamed live on Sabres.com to viewers inside the Sabres' local broadcast market.

Buffalo's first game is Friday at 7 p.m. against New Jersey. Click here for the full schedule.

We'll have a deeper look at the rosters later today. Tickets are on sale now.

 

Camp opens Sept. 12

A lot of new faces will be in training camp this season, which means a lot of decisions will have to be made for general manager Jason Botterill and head coach Ralph Krueger when it comes to the roster and the lineup.

In the second edition of our camp preview series, we wondered where offseason additions like Colin Miller, Marcus Johansson, Jimmy Vesey and Henri Jokiharju could fit in.

Here's a taste of that article:

The Sabres leveraged their cap space by acquiring Miller in a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights on June 28, adding another right shot to a group that already included Rasmus Ristolainen, Brandon Montour, Zach Bogosian and Casey Nelson. 

Miller brings playoff pedigree from his time spent in Boston and Vegas, but it's his possession numbers that stand out the most. His shot attempt percentage since entering the league in 2015-16 is 56.13, which leads all defensemen with at least 82 games played in that span. 

Krueger said that the Golden Knights' up-tempo style should bode well for Miller as he adjusts to a new system. 

"His energy that he brings, the experiences he's had now with Vegas, a team that plays on its toes, that likes to have an aggressive defensive style, really suits us," the coach said.

On Monday, we asked what's in store for the top line this season.


Training camp schedule

All practice times subject to change. All practices will be at KeyBank Center unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, Sept. 12
Players report for testing and physicals

Friday, Sept. 13
Gold Group: 10 to 11:15 a.m.
Blue Group: 1 to 2:15 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 14
Blue Group: 10 to 11:15 a.m.
Gold Group: 1 to 2:15 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 15 (Open to public)
Gold Group: 10 to 11:15 a.m.
Blue Group: 1 to 2:15 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 16
Morning Skate: 10 to 10:30 a.m.
Practice: 12 to 12:45 p.m.
Buffalo vs. Pittsburgh: 7 p.m. (Pegula Ice Arena) (Streamed on Sabres.com inside the Sabres' local broadcast market)

Tuesday, Sept. 17
Morning Skate: 10 to 10:30 a.m.
Practice: 12 to 12:45 p.m.
Buffalo at Columbus: 7 p.m. (Streamed on Sabres.com inside the Sabres' local broadcast market)

Wednesday, Sept. 18
Day Off

Thursday, Sept. 19
Blue Group: 10 to 11:15 a.m.
Gold Group: 1 to 2:15 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 20
Morning Skate: 10 to 10:30 a.m.
Practice: 12 to 12:45 p.m.
Buffalo at Toronto: 7 p.m. (TV: Sportsnet feed carried on MSG)

Saturday, Sept. 21
Morning Skate: 10 to 10:30 a.m.
Practice: 12 to 1 p.m.
Toronto at Buffalo: 7 p.m. (TV: Sportsnet feed carried on MSG)

Sunday, Sept. 22
Day Off

Monday, Sept. 23
Practice: 10 to 11 a.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 24
Practice: 10 to 11 a.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 25
Morning Skate: 10:30 to 11 a.m.
Columbus at Buffalo: 7 p.m. (TV: Pregame show beginning at 6:30 on MSG followed by postgame show)

Thursday, Sept. 26 (Open to public)
Practice: 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Harborcenter)

Friday, Sept. 27 (Open to public)
Practice: 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Harborcenter)

Saturday, Sept. 28
Practice: 9:30 to 10 a.m.
Buffalo at Pittsburgh: 4 p.m. (TV: AT&T Sports feed on MSG)

Click here for more info.

 

Hawerchuk takes leave of absence

In other hockey news, Sabres Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk has taken a leave of absence from his job as coach of Barrie of the Ontario Hockey League because of health reasons.

From NHL.com…

"We are a tight and close family here, and it's difficult to have to make announcements like this," Barrie president Howie Campbell told Simcoe.com on Tuesday. "[Hawerchuk] is facing some health issues and will be taking the time he needs to deal with that situation. Our best wishes and thoughts are with [Hawerchuk] and his family during this difficult time. We're confident we'll have everything the team needs to have a great run this year. All of us want to see [Hawerchuk] back as soon as possible, and we look forward to that day."

Hawerchuk, who was selected by the Winnipeg Jets with the No. 1 pick in the 1981 NHL Draft, is 20th in NHL history with 1,409 points (518 goals, 891 assists) in 1,188 games with the Jets, Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues and Philadelphia Flyers. He retired after helping the Flyers advance to the 1997 Stanley Cup Final and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.

We wish Dale all the best.

 

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