BUFFALO, N.Y. (September 11, 2019) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the roster for the team’s training camp, which begins Thursday, Sept. 12, when players are scheduled to report for testing and physicals. Training camp will be held primarily at KeyBank Center, with sessions on Sunday, Sept. 15, Thursday, Sept. 26 and Friday, Sept. 27 open to the public.

**Click here for the 2019 Buffalo Sabres training camp roster (PDF).**


Training Camp Schedule

All practice times subject to change


Thursday, Sept. 12

Players report for testing and physicals.

Media may attend for select player availability beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the press conference room.


Friday, Sept. 13

Gold Group: 10 to 11:15 a.m.

Blue Group: 1 to 2:15 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 14

Blue Group: 10 to 11:15 a.m.

Gold Group: 1 to 2:15 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 15 (Open to public)

Gold Group: 10 to 11:15 a.m.

Blue Group: 1 to 2:15 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 16

Morning Skate: 10 to 10:30 a.m.

Practice: 12 to 12:45 p.m.

Buffalo vs. Pittsburgh: 7 p.m. (Pegula Ice Arena)*

Tuesday, Sept. 17

Morning Skate: 10 to 10:30 a.m.

Practice: 12 to 12:45 p.m.

Buffalo at Columbus: 7 p.m.*


Wednesday, Sept. 18

Day Off


Thursday, Sept. 19

Blue Group: 10 to 11:15 a.m.

Gold Group: 1 to 2:15 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 20

Morning Skate: 10 to 10:30 a.m.

Practice: 12 to 12:45 p.m.

Buffalo at Toronto: 7 p.m. (TV: MSG)

Saturday, Sept. 21

Morning Skate: 10:30 to 11 a.m.

Practice: 12 to 1 p.m.

Toronto at Buffalo: 7 p.m. (TV: MSG)


Sunday, Sept. 22

Day Off

Monday, Sept. 23

Practice: 10 to 11 a.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 24

Practice: 10 to 11 a.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 25

Morning Skate: 10:30 to 11 a.m.

Columbus at Buffalo: 7 p.m. (TV: MSG)

Thursday, Sept. 26 (Open to public)

Practice: 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Harborcenter)

Friday, Sept. 27 (Open to public)

Practice: 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Harborcenter)


Saturday, Sept. 28

Practice: 9:30 to 10 a.m.

Buffalo at Pittsburgh: 4 p.m. (TV: MSG)

*Games on Sept. 16 and 17 will be streamed on to viewers inside the Sabres’ local broadcast market.

Ralph Krueger Interview – The Instigators (9/10/19)

September 10, 2019


Ralph Krueger
The Instigators (10:30 a.m.) (9:47)


Andrew Peters: How long have you been in town?

Ralph Krueger: Mid-August.

AP: I’m not going to ask you your address or anything, but are you settled?

RK: Settled, living in the city.

AP: Settled, living in the city.

RK: Yeah, living in the city. I love it, I love it. The environment has been good for the balance. Evening, just going for walks, hitting some nature, having some good meals.

AP: I’m sure when you go bar to bar people recognize you this time.

RK: Not the bar to bar thing anymore.

AP: Little more low-key now, are you?

RK: The bakeries, bakeries and cafes now. Change of genre.

AP: So, are you feeling a buzz?

RK: Yeah, I mean as a coach you’re in a situation where you’ve spent multiple months now preparing. The danger is, I think I grabbed our second day of practice the other day and started redesigning it, just for something to do. I want to let all that go now and let’s get going, let’s start practicing, let’s start communicating with the players, let’s get our concepts in place. I’m excited to play.

Craig Rivet: Today’s golf day. [It] usually signifies the start of a new season, having all the players back, everybody’s signed. I’m sure that the players are extremely excited to get things going obviously with a new coach and a new leader. What’s the biggest message moving into training camp? What’s the one thing you’ll be keying on to try and bring these guys together?

RK: I think that the end result needs to be that on the third of October when you guys are watching — and speaking to me a few days later — you feel that there’s a concept there behind what we’re doing. The guys are playing together and playing as one with and without the puck. That’s the goal now, in the next few weeks, to find a path to get them set up that way. That’s our responsibility as coaches. I feel a group of players that are open and willing to do this, so let’s just get it started. But it begins with the communication, making sure that everybody has the same basis of facts that we all understand what those are and what those need to be for us to be successful here, and then let’s put them into play. The talk is cheap on the way to the actions, so let’s get those actions right by the third of October; that’s really what our goal is.

CR: Have you enjoyed watching the prospects?

RK: Yeah. As a coach in the moment you’re looking more at the individual skill sets and the individual abilities within that group. The team game itself was exciting in that they were fighting to win all three games. You could see a good passion there, good work ethic and fight. We’ve got some interesting skill in these players, which we’ll see what it’s like when they hit main camp. It’s a different ballgame starting Friday. But we look forward to some of the players we saw there.

AP: Well I’ve got to ask because, you know, sometimes that was some of the only way I could get noticed. What did you think of Casey Fitzgerald yesterday?

RK: He definitely has a lot of skill and mobility and [is an] active player. He left his mark and we’ll be seeing him in main camp for sure.

AP: Good scrap?

RK: Yeah, that was like (Matej) Pekar the other day. I mean, him at “Fitzy” were showing it mattered and they cared no matter what, and I think that was important. That was your world more? Is that it?

AP: Yeah, I would probably believe that you don’t know who I am. It’s okay. Riv, you want to take over here? I’ve got to tell you, my confidence is at an all-time low. Nice to meet you, sir.

AP: I’ve got to ask you this, and I feel like the word — I feel like unless you’ve truly lived it, I don’t think people truly understand, and we try to preach it, and our listeners and followers, they laugh at us when we reuse the word “culture.” And I feel it’s almost like we ignore talking about it because people are so sick of talking about it. But it’s not built in one offseason, it’s not built in one coaching hire; it starts in all these places. On your list of priorities in coaching, where is the culture in terms of the priority of success for your team?

RK: It’s hard to find a synonym for culture. I think that is a word that you are going to use and reuse all the time, especially in a coaching role because it summarizes the behavior of the group. It summarizes what the priorities are of the group and how they go into a practice, how they go into a game, how they go into a team meeting, how they hang out together on the road. It’s the lifestyle of everybody. There’s no way you push a button and change that overnight. It’s like with your children, you have a chance for seven, eight, nine years, maybe, at the beginning of the life to give a fundamental foundation of a culture in that child and then it develops its own little personality. But I think that a team culture develops over time. There’s been so many good things done here, that’s what I want to say over and over again. I’m walking into a lot of fundamentally strong cultural things here that I can build on and work on and are really in line with what I believe in. This organization has been trying to do its best. There’s so many good people on our staff in all different specialties. I don’t need to list them all right now, but there’s so many good things in terms of the organization of how the club is concerned, and its relationship with the Bills is something we can tap into and use as a positive. Now we need to get that culture straight on the ice. I think it’s the final piece. I think I’ve walked in here to a situation where the foundation is laid. It’s not like jobs I’ve walked [into] in the past where you’ve had to spend three years just getting the right staff together. No, let’s go to work right away and let’s get it right on the ice. So that’s our job now, and I look forward to it. Let’s see if you can find another word for culture, but in the end it summarizes what you do, what your actions are. What are your habits? What do you do on a regular basis? That’s what you’re culture is. We want to have actions that the fans and the people of Buffalo are proud of and they’re excited to be a part of.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (September 10, 2019) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has assigned Lukas Rousek (Sparta Praha – Czech) and Matthew Welsh (Charlottetown – QMJHL) to their respective clubs, and released Stephen Harper, Bobby MacIntyre and Sebastian Vidmar from their tryouts.

The team has also assigned Pascal Aquin, Justin Baudry, Tobie Bisson, Shaw Boomhower, Kurt Gosselin, Brett Murray and John Wiitala to Rochester for the Americans’ training camp.

Jason Botterill Prospects Challenge Media Availability (9/9/19)

Sept. 9, 2019

Jason Botterill
Prospects Challenge
Jason Botterill Media Availability (10:37)

Just to start off with, I’ll give you a couple of injury updates on guys who would’ve been a part of the Prospects Challenge here. Lawrence Pilut is still recovering from shoulder surgery. He won’t be in main camp, but everything seems to be going very smoothly from that standpoint. We hope that he’ll look to be playing games somewhere around the middle of October. (Ukko-Pekka) Luukkonen, coming off of a hip surgery, again, things have been very positive from his rehab. He won’t be in main camp, we’re looking at a time frame of the start of November for him to be playing in games. All other injury updates we’ll give you a little more once main camp starts.


Q: What did you think of the last three days? What was your general impression of what you saw out there on the ice? (Paul Hamilton – WGR 550)

A: I think it was a great tournament. I thought (it was) very balanced among all four teams. I thought, especially, Friday and Saturday, great atmosphere in the building for our players. I just think, young players especially, they work so hard in the offseason, getting ready for main camp, but there’s always an adjustment from summer scrimmages to main camp and I think our guys went out there, got in a game environment, and it’s going to help them a lot when they make the transformation into main camp now.


Q: Your objective has all along has been to build organizational depth. As you watch these three games, how far along do you think you are with that objective? (John Wawrow – Associated Press)

A: I think we continue to improve on it every year. I think just the fact that I was very happy with some of our veteran players, that have been in our system before — (Rasmus) Asplund, (Victor) Olofsson — how they came in, but also very excited about some of our younger defensemen, a guy like (Jacob) Bryson and (Casey) Fitzgerald, coming in for their first camp, I thought they handled themselves well, too. So we’re excited now to move into NHL preseason games, having some of our young players challenge our veteran players for roster spots, but also, too, excited about what’s developing in Rochester and that next wave of players.


Q: (Rasmus) Ristolainen certainly is expected in town with the guys tomorrow, where do you think his head is at this point? (Mike Harrington – The Buffalo News)

A: In our conversations with him, it’s been positive and I think [Ristolainen] has always been someone who comes to camp in extremely good shape. I think there is going to be an adjustment for all our players with a new head coach. Trying to bring together exactly what coaches are going to want from a system standpoint, where they fit in with the group and I’m sure those conversations will go well with [Ristolainen] and our entire team.


Q: Do you have any NHL players coming in on tryouts? (Paul Hamilton – WGR 550)

A: Right now, we don’t have any tryout guys. We’ll continue to sort of re-evaluate we’re we are from an injury standpoint; have discussions in the next couple days. But right now, no.


Q: Is part of that decision to bring anybody in at this point so you can give younger guys like (Tage) Thompson, (Victor) Olofsson a lot of time in training camp? (Lance Lysowski – The Buffalo News)

A: No, it’s something I think we’ve added to our young guys we have coming in there. I thought some of our signings — J-S Dea, Curtis Lazar — players we want to give an opportunity to. With playing only six preseason games, we set it that way, we want to have a lot of practice time, but it’s always sort of that balance of finding enough games for your veteran players but giving enough for your young guys. We’re excited to see how they’ll materialize here and how they’re going to push some of our veteran players.


Q: Are you still having a dialogue with Jason Pominville and is he a possibility at some point? (Bill Hoppe – Olean Times Herald)

A: Obviously, Jason’s still in town, we’ve obviously continued to communicate with him. We’ll continue to communicate with him in the next couple days here and make a decision on that.


Q: You’ve mentioned the competition a few times. Where in particular are you really looking forward to seeing some competition take place? (John Vogl – The Athletic)

A: I think you certainly see it on the wings and then also at the defense corps. I think those are the two main spots. I say wing, but I also think we have a lot of players that can play both center and wing. That gives Ralph (Krueger) different options with his lineup and one of the big parts of the six preseason games is going to see where players have chemistry with each other and which position fits best for them.


Q: You haven’t ruled Pominville out then, based on your previous answer at some point. Is that correct? (Mike Harrington – The Buffalo News)

A: I haven’t ruled it out, but I’ve also, like I said, we’re very excited about where we are from the depth standpoint and the competitions we’re going to have and we want to make sure we give our young players enough of an opportunity.


Q: I know you didn’t want to rush him, but was it big that you were able to get [Dylan] Cozens into this tournament? (Paul Hamilton – WGR 550)

A: I think it helps him out a lot more in preparation for going out on the ice for the first time on Friday, just the speed of the game. He worked extremely hard over the last couple of months, staying in Buffalo, working with our staff. I know he really wanted to play in these games. I thought, just from a conditioning standpoint and time standpoint, getting these games will certainly help him out.

Q: Ralph has done a lot of camps in his career for different events. He’s never done a full NHL camp as a head coach before. What’s it been like last few weeks prepare for this and what do you want see from your coach here in the next week or so? (Mike Harrington – The Buffalo News)

A: Well, I think everything’s been extremely well organized and I think you see Ralph’s communication with myself and his assistants. I think it’s great having guys that have been on the staff before. Bringing in guys, like Mike Bales from Carolina, also Don Granato from Chicago, you get the best of all worlds. I think you’ll come to realize with Ralph, some of his connections throughout the league, over the last few years, he’s sort of picking best practices from all these guys. So, what I’m looking for is just, from the entire group, there’s a lot of enthusiasm come Friday. Understanding that, yeah, we’re going to be implementing a new system, there needs to be teaching and learning from that, but also we want to see pace, we want to see work ethic from day one.


Q: Is there a challenge, maybe, not that Ralph is an unknown — he’s just a different entity in the sense that he’s not a retread. Is there a different challenge that he faces, unlike say (Joel) Quenneville going to Florida, where players know him, that he needs to get across to players to earn their respect? (John Wawrow – Associated Press)

A: I think he earns his respect by how he communicates with guys and I think he’s done that already. I think our players are going to realize very quickly his knowledge of the game. Where my communication’s gone really well is look, it’s about winning, but it’s also about our continuing, especially with the young team that we have, about developing every day. I think once players buy in that this guy is going to help them and their careesr and help them win games that’s where respect comes.


Q: Did the injury maybe put Dylan a little it behind schedule to the point where it really hurt his chances of making the team or does he still have a really legit shot here to push for a roster spot in camp? (Lance Lysowski – The Buffalo News)

A: Look, Lance, I think it’s always difficult for an 18-year-old to make it in the National Hockey League right off the bat. I think the good thing with this type of injury, yeah, it’s certainly disappointing that he couldn’t work on some of his skills, but from the standpoint of working with our strength staff, improving his leg strength, I think he did a great job with that over the last couple of months. I don’t think that will hurt his ability, I just think it’s a big jump for an 18-year-old to step in to the National Hockey League and really contribute. But we’ll certainly give him an opportunity over the next couple weeks here and see what materializes.


Q: You get nine games if you want to give him a chance. Do you believe in that or is that something you don’t really believe in for a young player? (Paul Hamilton – WGR 550)

A: I think the bigger thing is the accrued season versus the nine games on the contract. We’ll continue to have dialogue with Dylan and see what’s best for not only our team but also for his development over the next week, or, if that continues to go well, the next couple months.


Q: Do you expect that the Werenski thing today with Columbus may be the start of opening the log jam and the for phones to really start heating up around the league this week? (Mike Harrington – The Buffalo News)

A: Tough for me to predict that one. I’m just glad that right now, we don’t have restricted free agents that we have to sign. I think I mentioned it to you before, I think salary arbitration is a tough process, but it gets all the guys signed up and there’s no distractions. Our team’s all signed up, they’re all going to be here on Thursday and we’ll get going from that standpoint. It won’t surprise me, these players are going to eventually get signed here, and I think it will start to come. What that time frame, whether it’s this week or the next month, I couldn’t tell you.


Q: Would you categorize your phone as being busy at all in the last few days? (Mike Harrington – The Buffalo News)

A: I think it’s always busy, It’s been good with just interacting with our staff here because they’re all here, and I think there’s excitement around the league just because you’re back in arenas, you’re back watching games, so it’s not all these fictitious conversations, you’re actually seeing players and you’re starting to evaluate players again.


Q: From Ralph’s perspective, as he said, it’s open competition, players will decide things. But as you help with that roster building, how much does past experiences, how much do contracts come in to who stays and who goes once this season gets underway? (John Vogl – The Athletic)

A: Well I think we’ve shown in the past, it hasn’t been lip service, it’s been with our actions, that if players knock out veteran players, they’re going to have the opportunity to be here and that’s what we’re going to be looking for. We talked a lot to that about players coming into our organization, giving them an opportunity. We’ve talked a lot about our returning players, challenging them to be ready to go right away, because we want to bring more players in to have more success as an organization. I think the competition is going to be great in the next couple weeks and I think you probably hear it in Ralph’s voice, he’s excited about getting things going. I think a lot of our players, whether you saw in Chicago with Jack and Rasmus, they want to get things going. They’ve worked hard in the offseason, now it’s getting ready to go out there and start performing.


 Q: Your vision for this team has been to have it be more speed, better on the attack, better on the pressure. It’s only three games with prospects, but do you get more of an idea that you’re going to see more of that from this team going ahead? (Joe Yerdon – The Athletic)

A: Well I thought  a lot of guys competed hard, guys played with pace, and I especially really like it in our back end. I thought our defense did a really good job. Whether it was Jokiharju, Bryson, Fitzgerald, getting up with the play. You can see the development from a year’s time for a player like Will Borgen., I thought he played very physical in his two games and that’s sort of probably what most of the crowd is drawn to. What I really liked was his gap. he was up in the play a lot, didn’t give the opponents very much space at all. That’s just a small sample size, but hopefully that carries over to our group and it’s simple. It’s a speed game. We’re trying to get faster, we’re trying to obviously get players that can skate faster, but also move the puck faster and play a faster game.


Ralph Krueger Prospects Challenge Media Availability (9/9/19)

Sept. 9, 2019

Ralph Krueger
Prospects Challenge (6:33)


Q: What did you think of the guys throughout this tournament? (Paul Hamilton – WGR 550)

A: Well it was impressive how much compete there was and the will to win was there right off the bat, even today with a bit of a rough start. They fought their way back into this one. I thought that the leadership, players that had been here before, was strong, and the new, younger rookie players, the true rookie players, were well-guided through this process. We got to see some new players, and I personally got to know them a lot better in these last few days. Overall, we’d have to say it was a good weekend.

Q: How about a guy like [Arttu] Ruotsalainen. He’s a European free agent, just getting his feet wet in the NHL. What did you see out of him? (Paul Hamilton – WGR 550)

A: I think it’s important that we assess him at main camp. Players that have played on the bigger ice surface maybe to prepare for this week, there’s an adjustment there that I’m aware of. You could see a lot of skill in the group, and he’s one of them that we’re looking forward to looking at at main camp.

Q: You mention main camp. What are you looking forward to this week once it gets going? (John Vogl – The Athletic)

A: Just to get on the ice. I actually went for a little skate this morning. It’s good none of you were there. It wasn’t pretty, there’s no threat to any players from my skating. I just look forward to getting on the ice with the players. We have 30 players that practiced this morning, captain’s practice, and you can feel the energy is really upbeat. Everybody is happy to be back and ready to go. I look forward to getting to know this group. I look forward to feeding the competition we have now with the deeper roster and seeing how everybody reacts. And of course, I look forward to bringing in the culture that we want to see on the ice and the principles and the concepts as quickly as possible.

Q: How do you go about establishing that culture? You get the chance to make your first impression, so what are you focusing on this week? (John Wawrow – Associated Press)

A: Well I think first impressions are over off the ice, which we all know. There’s been a lot of contact there. On the ice, I don’t feel we need to rebuild and reinvent everything within a week. I think patience is important here, first 10 days, four games. It’s about assessing the players and letting them also slide back into the competitive mode. I don’t feel a big heat there in getting everything across. I think that the second half of the training camp, when you’re getting into the final two games and you’re getting back into the battle of the league at the beginning of October, that’s going to be a lot more detailed and a lot more intense. That’s the time when you really have to solidify how we’re going to play. The first phase is more about general concepts, and let the players play and see what they naturally do so we can then start making adjustments to really bring everybody together for the season.

Q: What are your emotions going into the week? You’ve never had a chance to run a real NHL camp before because of what happened in the lockout year. You didn’t get the chance you’re going to have this week. (Mike Harrington – The Buffalo News)

A: Well I’m actually feeling a lot like, you all know I have a big national team background where camps are just part of your life. You’re just permanently doing camps. I don’t feel anything other than an excitement and a positive energy for the opportunity to have this responsibility in Buffalo. This, specifically, is something that I’m looking forward to. But as far as, let’s say, it being odd that it’s an NHL camp, that’s not really coming up at all. We’ve worked hard in preparation here the last month with the coaches to be clear on our language to get ourselves on the same page as far as how we’re going to teach the different processes. Now it’s up to me to lead that. I enjoy doing that. I look forward to the responsibility and the pleasure of working together with these players.

Q: Seeing the way these guys play these three games, is it a bit of a taste of what you kind of expect or want to do with the NHL team? (Joe Yerdon – The Athletic)

A: I think it’s difficult. There was so little preparation here; it was a one-day practice. The players are also not in physical shape yet to actually implement all the things that we want to see. We definitely in Rochester and Buffalo want to connect the way we play. We’d like to feel Sabres hockey all the way through, to [the Cincinnati Cyclones], even. I think that this is still far from the end product. We expect a much clearer identity as we go through these next few weeks.

Q: Assuming he’s here Friday morning, how much do you have to sit down [Rasmus] Ristolainen and take his temperature and see where he’s at? (Mike Harrington – The Buffalo News)

A: We’ve been communicating, even these last few days. He’s going to be sliding in here in the next few hours. By tomorrow he’ll be here with the guys. I know that it’s going to be fun to work with a player with that skill and ability. I have nothing but excitement for working with him. I know there’s a lot of potential there that’s still untapped, and it’s up to me and the coaches to find out what that is.

Q: When you were in Edmonton, you leaned on veterans a lot when you were trying to establish a culture. What is that process like in the early days of camp to kind of work with those guys to see how you can kind of guide things moving forward? (Lance Lysowski – The Buffalo News)

A: Well I think it’s important you try to see what’s here naturally and what’s already present, and I’m feeling there’s a lot. The responsibility of everybody to be a part of leadership. It’s not just one individual, or three or seven, it’s the whole team at certain times that has to take that. I think that we have a lot of opportunity there to build a culture that will strengthen us for also the times of adversity and keep us moving in the right direction when we do good things. I think that that’s all part of what I like to do. Getting the communication going in the beginning will be the most important thing.

Q: As you mentioned, there’ll be increase competition for a roster spot. How much does past experience come into it and how much is open eyes, open competition? (John Vogl – The Athletic)

A: It’s quite clear that competition is what you want. You want players to come in a little uncomfortable about where the ice time is going to be and how they’re going to get there. I think that the processes will be laid out clearly. It will be a very open communication of what it’s going to take, and then it’s up to the players to answer those questions. I am convinced that the players will decide that on the ice and it will be easy for us at the end.