BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Sabres training camp kicked off Thursday morning when the players reported for physicals and testing. In addition to a new coach and general manager, a handful of headlines accompany the Sabres into the 2017-18 season.
EICHEL’S DEAL SOON?
As this era begins under a new regime, star center Jack Eichel is still without a long-term contract signed. Eichel maintains that he is comfortable with starting the season without a deal in place.
“I have kind of left my agents to deal with that,” Eichel said Thursday morning. “I told them if we get a deal done then we get a deal done. And if we don’t then we don’t. That is not something I am worried about. I think I have a lot to prove and I think I have proven nothing and it is a huge year for me personally and us as a team.
“That is Jason’s (Botterill) job and Jack’s agents job,” head coach Phil Housley added. “We just want Jack to be comfortable coming to the rink to play the game.”
OKPOSO 100% HEALTHY
Kyle Okposo will hit the ice with the team when practice begins on Friday morning. He missed the end of last season after suffering an adverse reaction to medication, that landed him in a neurological intensive care unit. The Buffalo winger said he is back to feeling like himself again.
“When things weren’t going very well, I thought I may not play again,” Okposos said. “But, I am happy to say that those thoughts are out the window now and I feel confident and I am 100% good to go.”
The veterans in the Sabres locker room are all familiar with new head coach Phil Housley, either by playing under him or watching his Nashville defense shine in the postseason.
“It feels different. It is a little bit of a different vibe going into the rink and I think it is positive and it is refreshing.” – Robin Lehner
“I think he has the right intentions and I think that is something that is really important to have in someone at the helm.” -Kyle Okposo
“Just to have a guy like that here and someone who is so well respected and to have the career that he had is remarkable and he is just a great guy to have here.” -Jack Eichel
Training camp continues throughout the weekend with practice sessions at HarborCenter, the Sabres first preseason game is against Carolina on Monday night.