TRAINING CAMP: DAY TWO
Group One (8:45-9:45 a.m.)
Marcus Foligno had played center at the end of last season, but is back on the wing for now. And back with Cody Hodgson, whom he played on a line with in Rochester during the lockout.
"To be on a line with him, it’s going to be great to get open for him," Foligno said. "Obviously I played with him in Rochester and we put up some points there and had a good time in Rochester, too."
They're joined on the line by Thomas Vanek. Both Folgino and Vanek are more comfortable on the left wing, so Sabres coach Ron Rolston said they'll go through the preseason trying both on the left and right wings in order to find the right combinations, .
"We like [Vanek and Hodgson] together for sure. They were good last year. I think Cody can make plays, really good vision plays and obviously [Vanek's] a good finisher," Rolston said. "Right now we've got Marcus there to provide some heavy hockey hopefully on the wing hopefully if Marcus can come in and continue to play that way, be physical and make some space for those guys."
Thomas Vanek – Cody Hodgson – Marcus Foligno
Zemgus Girgensons – Kevin Porter – Brian Flynn
Kevin Sundher – Colin Jacobs – Shawn Szydlowski
Frederick Roy – Eric Locke – Logan Nelson
Group Two (10-10:45 a.m.)
Ville Leino was limited to eight games last season due to injuries. He missed the final 13 games of the year but has been back skating for about four weeks now. He’s back on the right wing too, which he’s described as his favorite
“Everything is going the way you want it to go at this point,” he said. “Also, I’m really excited to go back out there. It’s a new start. I feel like I didn’t play for a year.”
Center Mikhail Grigorenko spent the summer in Buffalo and hopes the work he’s put in during the offseason pays dividends in his second NHL season. He skated on a line with Steve Ott and Leino on Wednesday and will look to them for guidance.
“For me it’s really good to play with those guys,” Grigorenko said. “They’ve helped me out a lot on the ice and I can learn from the every day. Hopefully [coach Ron Rolston] will like us and we’ll be playing together.”
Steve Ott – Mikhail Grigorenko – Ville Leino
Luke Adam – Mike Zigomanis – Joel Armia
John Scott – Matt Ellis – Justin Bailey
Peter Trainor – Jonathan Parker - Johnny McGuire
Brayden McNabb – Jamie McBain
Alexander Sulzer – Chad Ruhwedel
Alex Lepkowski – Connor Boland
Scrimmage (11:15 a.m.-Noon)
Team Gray vs. Team Gold
Group Three (12:15-1 p.m.)
Many roster spots are up for grabs and Rolston will use training camp as a competition to fill those roles.
Rolston had Cody McCormick centering Corey Tropp and Patrick Kaleta during the third session and that combination could very well serve as the Sabres’ fourth line come opening night on Oct. 2 in Detroit.
Rolston said he’s aware of the different possibilities and will look for fourth liners that are responsible players that can kill penalties too.
“That’s what kind of what we talked about in the competition. We can go a lot of different ways, but we’ll definitely have some guys that can do that – that play with a lot of energy and are physical on the fourth line,” Rolston said.
Tyler Ennis – Johan Larsson – Drew Stafford
Corey Tropp – Cody McCormick – Patrick Kaleta
Daniel Catenacci – Philip Varone – Jamie Tardif
Colton Gillies – Justin Kea – Nicholas Baptiste