Camp Notebook | 12 things we learned from Day 1 of Sabres camp

Kyle Okposo expressed his trust within the spring that many facets of the Sabres’ 2021-22 marketing campaign may elevate throughout the summer season and into a brand new season.

The Sabres, of their first complete season underneath trainer Don Granato, followed his fearless mentality. They got the leeway to make errors and inspired to turn their personalities. They carried out at a 102-point tempo all the way through March and April, fueled by means of career-best stretches from a number of younger avid gamers.

The brotherhood they shaped within the procedure will have to elevate over, as will have to their wisdom of the identification they need to care for at the ice. (Granato already noticed returning avid gamers serving to rookies thru drills all the way through the primary two classes of coaching camp.)

But all of it must be supplemented by means of paintings.

“Yeah, sure, there’s the camaraderie, there’s the fellowship, there’s the way that we came together and that’s going to remain,” Okposo mentioned. “But you got to go earn your results, no matter what.”

Video: TRAINING CAMP: Okposo

The message from Granato on Thursday was once the similar because it was once twelve months in the past.  

“The message is continue to get better,” Granato mentioned. “This sport is awesome, because no matter how good you are, there’s ways to get better and lots of ways to get better.”

To that finish, Granato challenged his training personnel to build solely new practices for the outlet day of coaching camp, with just one repeat drill from final season. The Sabres break up their 59-man camp roster into two teams and held two hour-and-a-half classes within KeyBank Center.

Here are 12 takeaways from the outlet day of camp. 

1. Granato mentioned he believes his avid gamers are much less glad with the luck they discovered over the overall two months of final season than they’re angered by means of the wins they left at the desk. 

“If we’re going to carry over something from last year, I don’t think it’s the good and the winning,” he mentioned. “I think it’s the taste in your mouth of, ‘We left some stuff on the table.’ We need to go after that.”

Video: TRAINING CAMP: Granato

2. Rasmus Dahlin is one participant with that mindset. Granato mentioned he knew within the spring that Dahlin was once at house looking at the Stanley Cup Playoffs, permitting it to gas what would change into a productive offseason.

Granato was once proper.

“I don’t really want to watch the playoffs, but I can’t not watch it,” Dahlin mentioned. “It’s such great hockey and you’ve got to follow it if you’re in the league, I feel like. It pisses you off for sure. It’s not fun to see all the other teams succeed. I want to be in those shoes. 

“It’s a love hate courting with the playoffs if you end up now not in it needless to say.”

3. Dahlin had the most productive season by a Sabres defenseman in more than a decade, posting career highs in goals (13) and points (53) while leading the team in ice time. The success coincided with a key realization away from the ice. 

“I noticed early final season that if I’m myself and now not seeking to be any person, that is going to lend a hand me at the ice,” he said. “I simply stay doing that each day. Some guys are most certainly now not going to adore it. Some guys find it irresistible. I have no idea. I do not actually care. I simply need to check out and be myself. That is helping me at the ice.”

When Alex Tuch joined the team midway through the season, he lauded Dahlin not for his skill, but for his leadership.

4. Granato shared an anecdote to paint a picture of Dahlin’s leadership.

“He chirps any other teammate in follow, he will pass more difficult than them,” Granato said. “He is aware of, he will problem the man in follow and speak to him out, after which he will hop in line and pass one-on-one towards him and say, ‘I’ll display you what I’m speaking about. You’re now not going exhausting sufficient and you might be now not competing exhausting sufficient.’ So, he will again what he says.”

5. Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams signed a multi-year contract extension Wednesday, hours after he addressed the team on the first day of camp. Watch excerpts of his speech in the video below.

Video: 2022 Training Camp Welcome Speeches

6. Adams was asked about his contract extension when he met with the media on Thursday.

“I’ve mentioned this most certainly one million occasions, however I believe adore it’s such an honor to have this process,” he said. “It’s this kind of duty to our avid gamers, our training personnel, our entire group and our group and Sabres enthusiasts to get this proper. So, for me, it is thrilling. But it is fascinated with, how do we get well?”

7. Granato likened his relationship with Adams to that of a teammate. They speak after practices and even share notes on game plans. 

“If I’m fallacious, I would like any person that is going to inform me that,” Granato said. “What I do, I attempt to do with – there is at all times idea into it, nevertheless it may well be idea, it may well be bias, it may well be going within the fallacious course so I would like any person that may glance out for me. And I’ve a agree with in Kevyn.”

8. Tage Thompson was also rewarded with a contract extension after scoring a team-leading 38 goals and 68 points last season. He signed a seven-year deal worth $50 million in August.

Adams pointed to how Thompson dealt with adversity through the early stages of his career – his inclusion in a high-profile trade, season-ending injuries, time spent in the minors and on the taxi squad – as evidence of how he will continue to work moving forward.

Thompson spoke with that in mind on Thursday. 

“It’s an enormous vote of self assurance in me,” he said of the contract. “I do know Donny and Kevyn and all of the control personnel had religion in me final 12 months and gave me an enormous alternative to achieve success. It was once simply as much as me to take merit of it. 

“Now what’s done is done with that season. It’s a new season. Start all over again. It doesn’t really matter what I did in the past. It’s a new start, so I have to try to continue to get better each and every day, continue to grow.”

Video: TRAINING CAMP: Thompson

 9. Forward Sean Malone didn’t take part within the first follow consultation because of an damage, Granato introduced. Malone as a substitute skated with construction trainer Mike Ansell. 

Forwards Olivier Nadeau, Matej Pekar, and Josh Bloom and defenseman Zach Berzolla additionally remained sidelined after lacking time all the way through the Prospects Challenge with accidents. Bloom and Berzolla are thought to be each day. 

10. Adams took a bunch of avid gamers {golfing} a couple of weeks in the past, pairing with Alex Tuch towards Dahlin and Casey Mittelstadt. Dahlin and Mittelstadt reportedly got here out on best. 

Who was once the most efficient of the bunch?

“[Mittelstadt] might be the best golfer in the league right now,” Dahlin mentioned.

11. The Sabres do intend to call a captain previous to the beginning of the season, Adams introduced. They started final season with two trade captains in Okposo and Zemgus Girgensons, with Dahlin some of the avid gamers who additionally wore an ‘A’ afterward within the 12 months.

“Honestly, where I get excited, it’s great to have a captain, assistant captain, but it’s also great to have leaders within your locker room that maybe don’t have a ‘A,'” Adams added. “I look at some of our younger players like a (Mattias) Samuelsson or (Dylan) Cozens or Peyton Krebs, these guys have been captains growing up in the different teams. 

“So, we’ll make that announcement, we’ll get that up ahead of the common season begins and feature it in position. But additionally, we need to create an atmosphere the place the blokes can are available in and be themselves each day.”

12. Behold the vibes emanating from those two photos. 

Tweet from @BuffaloSabres: our content kings are at it again @alextuch89 | @JeffSkinner

Hockey is back. 


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