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TIME TO MOVE FORWARD

Tuesday, 02.28.2012 / 5:50 PM / News
By Kevin Snow  - Sabres.com (@kwsnow)
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TIME TO MOVE FORWARD

ANAHEIM – With blue skies overhead and temperatures near 60 degrees, the Buffalo Sabres gathered for practice at the Anaheim Ice facility here in southern California on Tuesday. It was the morning after deadline day, and many players were still talking about the moves that were made at 3 p.m. on Monday.

Noticeably absent from today’s skate were newcomers Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer. Despite being in Phoenix when the trades took place, both players flew to Buffalo last night in order to have their physicals done by team doctors. For Hodgson, it was also an opportunity for the Toronto, Ont.-native to get his US Work Visa processed. Sabres GM Darcy Regier said after practice that everything went well for Hodgson, and he will be in the lineup on Wednesday when the Sabres face the Anaheim Ducks (10 p.m. ET).

Lindy Ruff was back on skates today, running practice for the first time since breaking three ribs on February 7 in a collision with Jordan Leopold.

“It felt good to be out there. But I probably win the stupid award for going out,” joked Ruff, who says he’s still feeling some pain from the injury. “I just felt it’s time. I’m gonna have to be careful to make sure I don’t fall, and make sure I don’t get hit.”

Here are some of the other comments from Ruff and other Sabres at today’s practice:

Ruff on informing Paul Gaustad he was traded yesterday
It was a tough one. Paul’s been a good soldier for. Through this stretch, even recently, he’s been one of our hardest working most competitive players … laying it all on the line, playing physical for us. I’ve been with him all these years. I can remember his first game. When he came up, and I thought ‘I don’t know, his skating may hurt him, he may never make it.’ He’s come a long way. It’s like the Brian Campbell situation. You spend all those years with him; it’s tough to see him go.

Ruff on what he expects from the team now
We need a better show out of our top forwards on the road. Use these games in hand to climb right back in the picture. I know we’re getting a good player, I’ve heard nothing but good things about Hodgson on the offensive side of. I’ve told the team that some guys are going to get a bigger role, and some guys are going to get different roles. We had a guy that left that was our top penalty killer, top faceoff guy in tough situations, and he was a guy that played the last minute of a game. Players are usually begging for those responsibilities and I want to see who comes through.

Ruff on what he might do with Hodgson initially
That’s going to be a little bit of trial and error. I think the original thought was to maybe give him Ennis and Stafford, put him in the middle between those two. It’ll shake itself out. We’ll find something that’ll work and we’ll run with it.

Ryan Miller on the trade of his good friend Gaustad
Pretty tough day. Not gonna lie, not real happy about the way it all turned out. It’s the business of hockey. Like we said, we don’t make those decisions, and there’s more proof. If I had any more influence, Paul would still be here. I appreciate the way he plays, and he’s been one of my best friends for a long time there. Obviously that’s going to continue. It was nice to have him as a teammate and have those other intangibles. 

Patrick Kaleta on the trading of Paul Gaustad
He’s a good friend of mine. He’s obviously helped my career out, being a hockey player and a person - especially this past summer. Some things you can’t control. It’s my job now to step up, and it’s going to be more important for me now to prepare and be ready, and do the things I need to do on the (penalty kill). And whoever I PK with, I’m sure we’ll get together and try to do the same things that me and Gaus did.

Tyler Ennis on playing with Hodgson on Canada’s gold medal winning 2009 World Jr team
He won the tournament scoring, and I think he was probably one of the best guys in the tournament. He was a huge reason why we won the gold medal. He was just all-around skill, a really good passer. He’s good all over the place - in the d-zone and killing penalties. I just remember him dominating that tournament.

Tyler Myers on also playing with Hodgson on Team Canada in 2009
If he plays anything like he did at the World Juniors, he’s a very good player. He was a really nice kid, and even though it was three years ago, I doubt much has changed. From what I remember, he’s got a tremendous amount of skill. He’s going to bring a lot to our depth chart, especially at center. A young kid like that, I think we can expect a lot of good years from him.

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