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Adams, Granato address Sabres leadership roles

Team will not have a captain to start training camp

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Buffalo Sabres will start training camp without a captain. 

General manager Kevyn Adams announced Thursday morning that center Jack Eichel is no longer the captain of the team and that they will let the players on the roster learn and grow together before a new captain is named. 

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How communication, sports science played roles in Sabres camp

Buffalo had 14 days to get players re-acclimated to the demands of hockey

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Ralph Krueger was given a unique task as head coach for Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. His job was to unite a melting-pot roster comprised of players from eight different countries, many of whom were stars on their NHL teams, and have them buy into a common purpose. 

He had less than two weeks to do it. 

"He has a really good character," said Sabres forward Tobias Rieder, who was a member of Team Europe. "His speeches are really good. It motivates you. It makes you want to do good for you coach. He just has that charisma."

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'We have a great group here' | Irwin talks first camp in Buffalo

Defenseman details his first Sabres camp

by Matt Irwin @BuffaloSabres / Sabres.com

In an ordinary training camp, teammates usually get to know each other during time spent away from the ice. Maybe it happens in the locker room, putting your gear on before practice. Sometimes it's in the meal room over breakfast or lunch. 

Obviously, this year was no ordinary camp. Locker rooms and workouts were split up into smaller groups and post-practice meals were taken to go. There were times when I literally introduced myself to guys on the ice just because it was our first chance to actually meet in person. 

It's all part of adjusting to the new normal. I think we've been able to do that during these past two weeks, and I think the culture here is a big reason for it. 

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Coming this season: Taylor Hall

Stats and storylines for the forward entering 2020-21

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Taylor Hall signed a one-year deal to join the Sabres in hopes of helping the team's young core take the next step under coach Ralph Krueger, whom Hall had played for previously in Edmonton.

He saw the pieces falling into place upon arriving at training camp on Jan. 1. 

"Just the way Ralph wants us to play, with pace, offensively, a team that really attacks and when we don't have the puck, obviously, a team that needs to get the puck back as quickly as possible and play to our strengths," Hall said following his first practice with the team. "That's a big reason why I wanted to come here was I saw that. I saw that building and I saw that firsthand today."

Here's a look at the Sabres forward entering 2020-21.
 

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Lazar 'good to go' for Thursday's opener

Okposo still day-to-day; No decision yet on Quinn

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Curtis Lazar returned to practice Wednesday and is ready for Thursday's season opener against the Washington Capitals, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. Lazar had missed the past two practices with a lower-body injury.

Kyle Okposo remained absent and is considered day-to-day. Krueger said his status for the game against Washington will be re-evaluated on Thursday morning.

"Curtis Lazar is good to go," Krueger said. "He had a really good skate, is feeling the best he's felt in training camp thus far. So, the medical team did a really good job and he's back in the fold."

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Sabres announce initial taxi squad roster

This season, each team will have a taxi squad of 4-6 players that can practice and travel with the players on the NHL roster

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Buffalo Sabres announced Wednesday that the following players have been assigned to the team's taxi squad:

Forwards Rasmus Asplund and Casey Mittelstadt
Defensemen William Borgen and Brandon Davidson
Goaltender Jonas Johansson

This season, the NHL roster limit will remain 23 players with a salary cap of $81.5 million, but 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.

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Coming this season: Eric Staal

Storylines, numbers to know, and more about the Sabres forward

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

One of the top priorities for general manager Kevyn Adams during his first offseason was to add a bonafide second-line center behind Jack Eichel. The Sabres got their man in September, acquiring Eric Staal from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Marcus Johansson.

Staal - who ranks in the top 10 among active players in games played (7th), goals (6th), and points (8th) - instantly stood out for his veteran presence upon arriving at training camp.

"Eric has just come into this responsibility and this challenge with an unbelievably hungry mindset," Krueger said following the second practice of camp. "You can feel he wants something to happen here and he believes something's gonna happen here, and he wants to be a part of it.

"You don't feel the age at all in his spirit, and that's important. So, we get the experience, we get the know-how, we get the underlining of the culture that we want here. We like to treat people right. We like that human element to be on the right level, and Eric, he is that in every way, shape, or form."

Here is a look at the centerman entering 2020-21.

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Sabres assign 4 players to Amerks

Opening night rosters to be submitted to NHL by this evening

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Buffalo Sabres announced today that the team has assigned four players to the Rochester Americans. 

Forwards Andrew Oglevie and Arttu Ruotsalainen and defensemen Jacob Bryson and Mattias Samuelsson will join the Amerks. 

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Coming this season: Linus Ullmark

A look at the goaltender entering 2020-21

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Linus 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.

Here is a look at the netminder entering 2020-21.

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Sabres assign 8 players to Rochester

Buffalo's season begins Thursday with set of games against Washington

by Sabres Press Release @SabresPR / Sabres.com

The Sabres have assigned the following players to the Rochester Americans (AHL):

Forwards Brandon Biro, Steven Fogarty, Brett Murray and C.J. Smith

Defensemen Casey Fitzgerald and Ryan Jones

Goaltenders Michael Houser and Dustin Tokarski

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