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The Official Site of the Buffalo Sabres

Sharpen Up: October 5, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Here we go now.

Here's what you need to know. 


Game Night

The Sabres and Canadiens take the ice tonight to open up the new season. The puck drops at 7 p.m. from KeyBank Center but we've got you covered all day long. Game previews in written form from Jourdon and a video update from Dan will be coming your way shortly. 

Then tune in to the GMC Sabres Game Night pregame show starting at 6:30 p.m. on MSG with Duffer and Marty. RJ and Rayzor will call the action.

From the Game Notes

  • Tonight marks the 47th season-opener in Buffalo Sabres franchise history.
  • The Sabres are 24-18-4 all-time in season-openers; 17-9-4 when opening at home.
  • Buffalo is 21-19-6 all-time in home-openers.
  • The Sabres have previously opened their season against the Canadiens six times in franchise history (1984-85, 1988-89, 1990-91, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11), with each game taking place in Buffalo. 
  • The Sabres have a 3-1-2 record in those games, four of which (excluding a 3-3 tie in 1990 and a 4-1 loss in 2016) was decided by a single goal.
  • In addition to the six season-openers, the Sabres have opened their home schedule against Montreal three other times in franchise history (1970-71, 1976-77 and 2006-07). The Sabres have posted a 5-2-2 record in the nine total home-openers against the Canadiens.
  • If they dress, these Sabres will make their regular-season debuts in the blue and gold:
    • 93 Victor Antipin (would also be his NHL debut)
    • 82 Nathan Beaulieu
    • 25 Seth Griffith
    • 10 Jacob Josefson
    • 17 Jordan Nolan
    • 67 Benoit Pouliot
    • 6 Marco Scandella
    • 5 Matt Tennyson

Yesterday's practice

Video: Sabres Now (10/4/17)

Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Justin Falk were again absent from practice, although coach Phil Housley still did not rule Bogosian out for Thursday's season opener against Montreal. He'll be reevaluated Thursday morning. Falk is currently on injured reserve. 

Video: HOUSLEY: After Practice

Buffalo also made a trade after practice, sending forward Nicolas Deslauriers to Montreal for defenseman Zach Redmond. The Sabres acquired defenseman Zach Redmond from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for forward Nicolas Deslauriers. 

Redmond, 29, scored five assists in 16 games for the Canadiens last season and 18 points (4+14) in 26 games for their AHL affiliate in St. John's. He'll report to Rochester.

Jack Eichel stuff

Eichel officially signed his eight-year contract extension (which kicks in next season) and took part in a press conference with general manager Jason Botterill. 

From Jourdon's recap, which you can read in full here:

From the time Eichel first sat down with Jason Botterill this summer and his agents began contract negotiations with the Sabres, he let it be known that he wanted to continue being a piece to this puzzle for a long, long time. 

On Tuesday night, Eichel got his wish. He and the Sabres agreed to an 8-year contract extension worth $80 million, keeping him in Buffalo through the 2025-26 season. 

"This city means so much to me, and I like to think I mean a lot to this city as well," Eichel said during a press conference on Wednesday. "This organization has been nothing but great to me since the first day I walked in the doors. 

"… I have nothing but great things to say about Buffalo. I think I really owe it to them and I think I owe it to myself to do something special here with the group of guys that we have in the room and the organization and the people that are here now."

If you missed the full presser, here it is:

Video: Jack Eichel Contract Press Conference (10/4/17)

Buffalo will not name a captain to start the season, but Botterill has great faith in the veterans in the locker room. 

"We're very comfortable with our leadership group that we have right now, and Jack's a big part of it," Botterill said. "We don't need Jack to take over the room or take over the organization, and to be honest I don't think that happens very often anymore. I think successful teams have a collaborative model and, just like coaches, you can't have one voice."

Jack also sat down with Duffer for an exclusive 1-on-1:

Video: Eichel 1-on-1 with Duffer

His first interview of the day, however, was with Petey, Riv and Marty on The Instigators:

 Video: Jack Eichel with The Instigators

Party in the Plaza tonight

Join us for a Party in the Plaza presented by KeyBank, which will take place in Alumni Plaza from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Party will be highlighted by a special live performance throughout the event by Rochester natives Joywave, whose single, "It's A Trip!," is currently No. 24 on the Billboard US Alternative Radio chart. The Party will also feature the KeyBank "puck shoot" and NHL Network inflatable games and giveaways for fans, as well as a fan photo area. Productive Edge will also be onsite to provide fans with an immersive 360-degree virtual reality experience that will put their hockey skills to the test. 

Sabres alumni and Sabretooth will be on hand to sign autographs and hand out giveaways during the event, which is free to the public. Food samplings will be provided by Tim Hortons, Yancey's Fancy and Wegmans Sushi. Additionally, food and beverages will be available for purchase during the Party. All outdoor events are weather permitting.

Following the Party, all fans who attend the home opener will receive a Sabres T-shirt courtesy of KeyBank.

You can check out the promotional schedule for the entire season here. 

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