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Sharpen Up: January 12, 2021 | Order your own custom fan cutout today

Sabres return to practice today at KeyBank Center

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Opening night in the NHL is tomorrow and the Buffalo Sabres will play their first game of the 2020-21 season on Thursday.

Buffalo will return to the ice this morning for practice as they prepare for a back-to-back set at KeyBank Center against the Washington Capitals. 

We'll have full coverage of practice for you here. 

Here's what you need to know. 


Roster taking shape

Yesterday, the Sabres assigned eight players to the Rochester Americans (AHL). The Amerks are expected to open camp this week though they'll have to wait until at least the first weekend of February for their first game. 

Forwards Brandon Biro, Steven Fogarty, Brett Murray and C.J. Smith, defensemen Casey Fitzgerald and Ryan Jones, and goaltenders Michael Houser and Dustin Tokarski were already working almost exclusively with Amerks coach Seth Appert during training camp presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, so now that they've been assigned to Rochester, it'll be business as usual. 

Each NHL club's opening night rosters is due to the league by 5 p.m. today. In addition to the 23-man roster this year, each team will also have a taxi squad of 4-6 players that can practice and travel with the players on the NHL roster. Any team not carrying three goalies on its NHL roster must have at least one goalie on its taxi squad. 

We discussed both some of the challenges and opportunities a taxi squad presents for the Sabres in Sunday's Training Camp Report.  

Fan cutouts now available for sale

Fans won't be allowed to watch games at KeyBank Center this season, but you can still reserve a seat in the bowl. Check out to create your own custom fan cutout today and for more details.  

Cutouts will be located on the 200 and 300 levels of KeyBank Center (depending on the order of purchase), and while the cutouts will not be visible during gameplay, they may be featured in other parts of the TV broadcast and on our social media channels.

Sabres Season Ticket Holders should check their email for a special one-time use offer code to enjoy $10 off their cutout. 

A portion of proceeds from each sale will benefit the Buffalo Sabres Foundation.

Coming This Season: Linus Ullmark

We'll leave you with the latest edition in our "Coming This Season" series, which looked at where Linus Ullmark can go in 2020-21.

 Video: Coming This Season: Linus Ullmark

Ullmark shouldered a heavier workload than ever before in 2019-20, starting 18 of 20 games for the Sabres from Dec. 8 to Jan. 28 before a lower-body injury ultimately ended his season. (He was on track to return when the pandemic hit in March.)

The goaltender finished the abbreviated campaign having set career highs in wins (17) and save percentage (.915).

"When you put together a lot of games in a row and just play a lot of games, everything just kind of happens naturally just because you're in the flow of it all and there's no thought process behind every save or so," Ullmark said after signing a one-year contract in October.

Read the full story here. 

Oh wait. One more thing: #LetsGoBuffalo

Tweet from @ChrisRyndak: #LetsGoBuffalo The #Sabres emoji is back

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