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Sharpen Up: June 25, 2019

Here's what you need to know before the NHL schedule is announced at noon

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

The NHL schedule will be released today. Development camp on-ice sessions begin tomorrow. The French Connection Tournament is set for Saturday. Unrestricted free agency opens up on Monday. 

Let's get right to it.

Here's what you need to know.


Mark your calendars

Catch NHL Network if you can during the workday. The League's complete 1,271-game schedule will be revealed live at noon during "NHL Tonight: 2019-20 Schedule Release," hosted by Jamison Coyle and analysts E.J. Hradek and Mike Johnson. The 30-minute program also will be streamed live on and SiriusXM NHL Network Radio.

We have four dates already confirmed.

Buffalo will open the season on Thursday, Oct. 3 in Pittsburgh. They'll then host the New Jersey Devils for the home opener at KeyBank Center on Saturday, Oct. 5.

And on Nov. 8 and 9, they'll take on the Tampa Bay Lightning at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden as part of the 2019 NHL Global Series.


We'll also be announcing some Golden Season events throughout the day on social media so stay tuned for that.

Prospects ready for development camp 

Video: Behind the Scenes: Round 1 of the 2019 NHL Draft

The first on-ice sessions of development camp presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York are set for tomorrow at Harborcenter. Admittance will be on a first-come, first-served basis and not guaranteed. 

Here's the full schedule:

Wednesday, June 26
• First Session: 1 to 2 p.m.
• Second Session: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Thursday, June 27
• First Session: 10:15 to 11:15 a.m.
• Second Session: 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Friday, June 28
• First Session: 10:15 to 11:15 a.m.
• Second Session: 12 to 1 p.m.

Saturday, June 29
• French Connection Tournament: 10:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The camp will feature current Sabres prospects, including players selected at the 2019 NHL Draft. Stay tuned for the camp roster. 

The French Connection Tournament, an intra-squad 3-on-3 tournament, will highlight the final day of camp on Saturday, June 29, beginning at 10:45 a.m. The tournament will be a ticketed event. Tickets will be made available exclusively for 2019-20 season ticket holders. Tickets will be free and limited to two per account. Season ticket holders for the 2019-20 season will receive an email on Monday, June 24 to claim their tickets. Tickets will be limited and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

The French Connection Tournament will be streamed live on and the team's official social media platforms. The stream will feature Rick Jeanneret doing play-by-play, and Rob Ray and Brian Duff providing commentary.

The goals of the camp are to introduce prospective players to professional work habits and organizational standards. The players will have an opportunity to become familiar with the team and the resources available to them through the Sabres development staff and performance team.

Later this morning, first-round picks Dylan Cozens and Ryan Johnson will meet with the Buffalo media. We'll have full coverage of that for you here. They're also set to join The Instigators, which starts at 10 a.m. on MSG and WGR 550. 

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