Pre-Draft Media Availability (7/22/21)

Buffalo Sabres pre-draft media availability (29:02)


BUFFALO, N.Y. (July 19, 2021) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team’s 2021 preseason schedule. The team will play six games, including three home games at KeyBank Center. Ticket information and pricing will be announced at a later date.

The Sabres will play home-and-home series with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins during the preseason schedule, beginning with a game in Columbus on Sept. 28. The Sabres play in Buffalo for the first time on Oct. 1 and will wrap up the preseason schedule on Oct. 9 when they host Detroit at KeyBank Center.

2021 will mark the first time since 2015 that the team will play its full preseason schedule in NHL arenas. Buffalo went 4-2-0 in six preseason games in 2019, the last time the team played in preseason contests.

Below is the complete 2021 Buffalo Sabres preseason schedule (all times ET):

Date Matchup Time (ET) Location
Sept. 28 Buffalo at Columbus 7 p.m. Nationwide Arena
Sept. 30 Buffalo at Detroit 7:30 p.m. Little Caesars Arena
Oct. 1 Pittsburgh at Buffalo 7 p.m. KeyBank Center
Oct. 4 Columbus at Buffalo 7 p.m. KeyBank Center
Oct. 5 Buffalo at Pittsburgh 7 p.m. PPG Paints Arena
Oct. 9 Detroit at Buffalo 3 p.m. KeyBank Center



The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has named Sam Ventura Vice President of Hockey Strategy and Research.


  •  Spent the previous six seasons as a part of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ front office and captured two Stanley Cups with the team (2016 and 2017).
  • Served as the Penguins’ director of hockey research from 2017 to 2020 prior to being promoted to director of hockey operations and hockey research during the 2020 offseason.
  • Joined the Penguins’ organization as a team consultant in 2015, a role that he held for two seasons.
  • Attended Carnegie Mellon University, where he earned a bachelor’s in computational finance and statistics, a master’s in statistics and a doctorate in statistics and served as an assistant coach for the men’s hockey team.

Don Granato Introductory Media Availability


The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has named Don Granato the 20th head coach in franchise history.


  • Named the Sabres’ interim head coach on March 17, 2021 after serving as an assistant coach for parts of two seasons.
  • Spent parts of five seasons as an assistant coach for the Sabres (2019-2021), Chicago Blackhawks (2017-2019) and St. Louis Blues (2005-06).
  • Served as a head coach in the AHL for the Worcester IceCats (2000-2005) and Chicago Wolves (2008-2010) and won the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award in 2000-01 as the AHL’s most outstanding coach.
  • Spent two seasons as general manager and head coach of the ECHL’s Columbus Chill before winning the Kelly Cup in his only season as head coach of the Peoria Rivermen in 1999-00.


  • Began his career in the USHL in 1993-94 as the interim head coach of the Wisconsin Capitols. He became general manager and head coach of the Green Bay Gamblers the following season and led the team to the best record in the USHL in 1995-96 and 1996-97 and a USHL title in 1996.
  • Served as a head coach at the USNTDP from 2011 to 2016, where he led his teams to victories at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and the 2015 IIHF World U18 Championship.
  • Was an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship and at the 2014 and 2018 IIHF World Championships.
  • Captured an NCAA Championship as a player with the University of Wisconsin in 1990.