Get to know the Buffalo Sabres like never before in “Beyond Blue & Gold,” a series of webisodes that will debut exclusively at Sabres.com. From the boardroom to the draft room to the dressing room, fans will be given an all-access pass to the entire Sabres organization throughout the entire 2012-13 NHL season.
EPISODE #13: RON ROLSTON
From college hockey to the pros, it's been an interesting journey for Buffalo Sabres interim head coach Ron Rolston. Learn more about the man who has coached some of the best young players USA Hockey has produced in recent years. Now Rolston is finally getting his chance to prove himself at the NHL level behind the Sabres' bench.
EPISODE #12: WEBER & OTT
Deals with the strong bond between Ott and Weber. Ott's family took Mike in when he was 15 and helped get him to the NHL. The feature tells that story and Mike's progress to current day in the NHL.
EPISODE #11: MENTOR TRIP
As the Sabres went on the road to Florida, players were able to bring along a special guest. Parents and mentors were given a glimpse of what life on road as an NHL player is like. But not all the competition was on the ice, as players and guests went from the rink to the track at Palm Beach International Raceway to test their driving skills on a ¼ mile drag strip.
EPISODE #10: PATRICK KALETA
Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta is much more than a grinder on the ice. From his charity work with the HITS Foundation to his "hoarding" of collectibles, Kaleta proves time-and-time again that he isn't just a one trick pony. Take an introspective look at the forward in ths episode of Beyond Blue & Gold.
EPISODE #9: EQUIPMENT MANAGERS
From sharpening skates to ordering sticks, the job of the equipment manager is never done. First to arrive and last to leave the building, the equipment managers of the Buffalo Sabres deal with a variety of issues daily and quick fixes are always the order of the day. Beyond Blue & Gold goes behind the scenes to witness what the keepers' of the equipment deal with on a daily basis.
EPISODE #8: RYDER'S STORY
Nathan Gerbe’s journey to the NHL has been one of hard work and determination. But the friendship he has developed with four-year-old Ryder Kopacz is truly inspiring. Ryder was born with fibular hemimelia in his right leg, but has not let it get in the way of his love for the Sabres and Gerbe. Watch as Kopacz and his family travel to Chicago to be fitted for a special prosthetic leg that allows him to skate, and then see him test it out on the ice at First Niagara Center under the watchful eye of his hero Gerbe. For more information, unLIMBited.com.
EPISODE #7: PEGULA/REGIER INTERVIEW
When the Buffalo Sabres drafted Russian forward Mikhail Grigorenko 12th overall in last June's NHL Entry Draft, it surprised many people. But in many ways, the move demonstrated a new organizational philosophy on taking chances on the future, rather than drafting based on past history. As owner Terry Pegula states: "The day you're afraid to make a mistake is the day you stop taking chances." In this episode of "Beyond Blue & Gold," Pegula and general manager Darcy Regier discuss what the drafting of Grigorenko meant for now and the years beyond.
EPISODE #6: TRAINING CAMP
In this edition of "Beyond Blue & Gold," find out what happened as the NHL lockout came to end and business resumed for the Buffalo Sabres. Go behind-the-scenes at the start of the team's week-long training camp, including coverage of the Blue-Gold scrimmage at First Niagara Center played in front of 10,000 hockey-starved fans, featuring rookie Mikhail Grigorenko.
EPISODE #5: FRENCH CONNECTION STATUE
Sculptor Jerry McKenna was able to accomplish what many thought wasn’t possible: create a statue of the legendary French Connection line, with all three members in action on the ice. Discover how he was able to create this breathtaking tribute to the trio of famous Sabres, along with the back story of how the statue idea originated in 2011 after Terry Pegula purchased the team.
EPISODE #4: ROCHESTER AMERICANS
The Blue Cross Arena is commonly referred to as the “Rochester campus” of Sabres University. Now find out what goes on with Buffalo’s AHL franchise, as we spend a day following the team through their on- and off-ice routines. The “Beyond Blue & Gold” cameras even go inside the sparsely-decorated apartment of Sabres prospects Marcus Foligno and Brayden McNabb, exploring what life is like as pro hockey bachelors.
EPISODE #3: DEVELOPMENT CAMP
In early July, a collection of young Sabres prospects converged on Buffalo for a week-long camp at First Niagara Center, with the goal of learning what it takes to become a professional hockey player. But in addition to their on-ice sessions, the group would start everyday training under the watchful eyes of a highly-trained team of Navy SEALs. These promising young athletes quickly learned this wasn’t going to be just another week at hockey camp.
EPISODE #2: 2012 NHL DRAFT
Whether you’re a player or GM, the annual NHL Entry Draft can be one of the most stressful nights of your career. But it turned out to be a bountiful draft for the Buffalo Sabres last June at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, as they were able to select highly-coveted forwards Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons in the first round. Now go into the Sabres’ draft room to hear the conversations leading into the day, and discover just how they were able to acquire these two young stars.
EPISODE #1: DRAFT PROSPECT COMBINE
Back in mid-June, the Buffalo Sabres hosted a combine for a group of draft-eligible players for 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Go behind-the-scenes at the combine with footage of the on-ice testing at Cazenovia Park Arena, along with the rigorous endurance testing at First Niagara Center. This episode also features one-on-one interviews with Sabres Assistant GM Kevin Devine and Doug McKenney, the team’s Strength & Conditioning coach. McKenney sums up the entire combine with his analysis of what the team hopes to accomplish during the 10-minute aerodyne bike test during the endurance testing: “Especially when it gets tough – is he going to dig down or is he going to soften up?”