Found September 12, 2013 on Queen City Sports:
(Photo Credit: Dan Hickling) With Sabres training camp opening today and competition starting on Sunday there are many storylines surrounding the team as they head into a very important 2013 season. How will Ron Rolston fair in his first full season? Rolston took over last February and led the team to a 15-11-5 record in 31 games.  He earned the full time position early in the summer when GM Darcy Regier announced it May 7th.  It will be very interesting how Rolston will handle the squad and see if he can endure an entire season, especially with the highly critical Buffalo sports media.  I believe the Sabres trust Rolston to be the head coach now because of his background with developing prospects.  The former AHL coach has a lot of experience with young players such as Girgensons, Grigorenko, Armia and Ristolainen to name a few.  The Sabres have one of the youngest teams in the league.  Rolston should be comfortable in this position and has few excuses to accel. Someone needs to wear the C. The Sabres are still without a captain after they traded last years captain Jason Pominville.  The fan favorite is obviously Steve Ott, but there have been no clues given from the front office quite yet.  Other than Ott, the only other sensible options seem to be Miller Vanek, or maybe Tallinder.  Miller and Vanek are the longest tenured Sabres and of course Miller is not afraid to be vocal.  The issue was addressed in the team press conference yesterday afternoon and all of the listed candidates would be happy to be named the next team captain. Miller and Vanek still sporting the Blue and Gold. Throughout the entire summer rumors flew around the internet and around other sources of media about Miller and Vanek getting traded.  Both players are in their final year of their contract and neither went anywhere.  Miller has voiced his happiness being back in Buffalo “I’m happy to be here obviously. I have a great connection with the city and I’ve enjoyed my time here, so I’m just looking forward to getting started and do it all over again,” said Miller. On the other hand Vanek was a bit hard to read this summer and it was tough to tell if his heart was truly set in Buffalo. It all started when he said he did not want to be part of a team that was rebuilding.  He recently posted a blog where he explained his mindset for the season and it seems to be pretty positive.  As a fan I hope both players can put this offseason behind them and put out a good product on the ice. Prospects To some the youth of the Buffalo Sabres may be the strength of the organization.  The Sabres prospects have been listed in the top ten in the league by multiple columnists.  The prospects I am focused on are Girgensons, Grigorenko, and Ristolainen. Girgensons is the most intriguing because of all the praise he has gotten from the front office in the past calendar year.  He has been called the hardest working and the toughest guy in the system.  It puts a lot of pressure on Zemgus and it will be very interesting to see how he handles it and see if he can convert into a great NHL player. Ristolainen was the Sabres first of two first draft picks and has already said he wants to play in the NHL in his first season.  He is not interested in going back to play in Finland or going to the KHL, he has said his dream is to play in the NHL.  With that said he is accustomed to playing against grown men in SM Liga so it should be a bit easier of a transition to the big show.  He has great size and critics have praised him for his physicality, stick work, and great puck control. Finally the young’n every one has been talking about in Buffalo, Mikhail Grigorenko.  Even though he has a few NHL games under his belt he still needs to develop into what the front office thinks he can be.  He was not a top fifteen draft pick for nothing.  He has shown flashes of brilliance but he has blamed last years slow start on the coaching change and the mononucleosis he had endured during the summer.  But Grigo expects a much better season.  What has helped him was staying in Buffalo and working on his on ice skills to improve his game and add some size to his figure. In an NHL.com article he says he sees himself as a 1st or 2nd liner in the NHL. “To have 50 points would be great for me. If it’s 30, I’m not going to be sad. I don’t see myself as an AHL third-liner.” Hodgson deal Finally I am interested in seeing how Cody Hodgson will adapt after he signed a massive six year deal worth 25.5 million dollars.  The Sabres traded for him hoping he could finally turn into their number one center.  So far he has adjusted well in the offensive zone but still lacks some skill in the defensive zone.  Hodgson was the Sabres second leading scorer only behind Thomas Vanek.  In recent interviews Darcy Regier is very happy to have Hodgson back in the blue and gold. “We feel he is going to be an important piece of our organization’s success in the future and look forward to watching him develop as a player.” Hodgson needs to earn his fat paycheck that he will be earning for the next six years or he will listed as another poor investment by the Sabres front office. The post Buffalo Sabres Training Camp Storylines appeared first on Queen City Sports.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

With shaky futures, Sabres' Miller, Vanek report

Goalie Ryan Miller and forward Thomas Vanek are both taking a business-as-usual approach to their uncertain futures with the Sabres. Miller, a former Vezina Trophy winner, and Vanek, the Sabres' top offensive threat, reported for physicals Wednesday after an offseason filled with trade rumors. Both players are in the final year of their contracts and are not currently negotiating...

Sabres re-sign C Hodgson to multi-year contract

The Buffalo Sabres have re-signed center Cody Hodgson to a multi-year contract a day before the team opens training camp. The Sabres announced the signing Wednesday after players reported for physicals. Hodgson was already in Buffalo and is expected to be present for the team's first practice Thursday. He is a four-year NHL player who was a restricted free agent after the Sabres...

Sabres D Myers focused on rebuilding confidence

Tyler Myers has come to the realization he still has plenty of room to grow. At 6-foot-8, the Buffalo Sabres defenseman isn't going to get any taller. What Myers acknowledged Friday is that he spent the offseason addressing his mental approach to rebuild his confidence. That's something the 23-year-old felt was necessary after he fell short of meeting expectations playing...

Sabres' Miller, Vanek report to camp

Goalie Ryan Miller and forward Thomas Vanek are both taking a business-as-usual approach to their uncertain futures with the Sabres. Miller, a former Vezina Trophy winner as the league's top goaltender, and Vanek, Buffalo's top offensive threat, reported for physicals Wednesday after an offseason filled with trade speculation. Both players are in the final year of their...

Sabres re-sign C Hodgson

The Buffalo Sabres have re-signed center Cody Hodgson to a multi-year contract a day before the team opens training camp. The Sabres announced the signing Wednesday after players reported for physicals. Hodgson was already in Buffalo and is expected to be present for the team's first practice Thursday. He is a four-year NHL player who was a restricted free agent after the Sabres...

Angst Over Hodgson Deal Is Overkill

It's just a good old fashioned case of damned if you do, damned if you don't. Many of the same armchair Sabres owners who lambasted Tom Golisano for his one-year contract per player fantasy, and have seen more than a few good ones leave this town over the years due to lack of commitment from management, are now suddenly telling us that ambitious owner Terry Pegula and the...

Regier hopes to re-sign Hodgson soon

It sounds like Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek could remain with the Sabres for a while. General Manager Darcy Regier hopes Cody Hodgson sticks around too. Buffalo's veterans gathered for physicals today and will begin skating Thursday and Regier hopes Hodgson will be on the ice in First Niagara Center. The team has yet to work out a contract with the restricted free agent who...

Sabres, Hodgson agree to six-year contract extension

The Sabres have their top center under contract for the next six years. Restricted free agent Cody Hodgson has agreed to a long-term deal ensuring Buffalo will have its full roster Thursday when it takes the training camp ice for the first time. "Hey Sabres fans I'm excited to let you know I'm going to be a Buffalo Sabre for the next six years" Hodgson said this...

Sabres Extend Cody Hodgson

© Dan Hickling The man expected to center the Buffalo Sabres’ top line into the future is going to be calling Buffalo home for a long while. Via the team’s official twitter account, the Buffalo Sabres have come to terms on a six-year contract with the 23-year old. A message from Cody Hodgson. https://t.co/ByGf7pn9YB — Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) September 11, 2013   “We...

Andrej Sekera Trolls The Entire City Of Buffalo

Sekera on the change from Buffalo to Raleigh: “I think everything is better than Buffalo.” — Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) September 12, 2013 This off-season Andrej Sekera was dealt from Buffalo to Carolina in return for Jamie McBain and a 2nd Round Pick. Sekera had spent his whole career to that point with the Sabres, but that doesn’t mean he liked living in The Queen City...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.