The Sabres' 2013 season is under way.
Practice has just begun in First Niagara Center, and coach Lindy Ruff is getting right into it with five-on-five work rather than breakout drills or goalie warm-ups.
The session's style allows for an early glimpse at the Sabres' forward line hopes. The units:
Thomas Vanek-Cody Hodgson-Jason Pominville
Marcus Foligno-Tyler Ennis-Drew Stafford
Steve Ott-Mikhail Grigorenko-Ville Leino
John Scott-Matt Ellis-Cody McCormick
Nathan Gerbe-Jochen Hecht-Patrick Kaleta
The nine defensemen --Tyler Myers, Christian Ehrhoff, Jordan Leopold, Robyn Regehr, Andrej Sekera, Mike Weber, T.J. Brennan, Alexander Sulzer and Adam Pardy -- are also on the ice. Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth are in net.
Jochen Hecht is rumored to be in the building but is likely completing his physical and contract. Kaleta's placement with the injured Gerbe is intriguing, but it's possible they are just waiting for Hecht.
UPDATE: Hecht arrived midway through the first session to a stick-tap salute from several teammates.