I'm at the press box inside Ralph Wilson Stadium (be sure to join me today from noon-6 for our first Bills Live chat of the season), but that doesn't mean I have to stop thinking about hockey too. I'll be there just past the crack of dawn Monday as the Sabres open rookie camp at 7:30 a.m. inside HSBC Arena.
Yes, I said 7:30 a.m. The team has its annual golf outing in the afternoon at Park CC so the coaches and players have to be there for that. But I'm sure the coaches don't mind making the rookies are ready to go bright and early too.
All practices are open to the public. After Monday's 7:30 a.m. gig, it's going to be a 9 a.m. start on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and there will likely be a good deal of scrimmaging to see. Veterans report Friday, with their first on-ice work Saturday at the team's annual "Puck Drop" event.
There are 37 players scheduled to attend rookie camp, and 29 are Sabres draft picks. They include Tyler Ennis and Nathan Gerbe, the last two AHL Rookies of the Year and two of the team's best forwards by the end of last year's playoff loss to Boston. Other players attending who have appeared for the Sabres are forward Mark Mancari, defenseman Mike Weber and goaltender Jhonas Enroth.
There will be plenty of big-name draftees on hand (think Zack Kassian, Luke Adam and Mark Pysyk) as well as local boy David Leggio, the free agent signee likely to serve as Enroth's backup this year in Portland. You can see the full roster here.