By Mike Harrington
There's a tentative deal to end the lockout and a few Sabres who skated today for about an hour in the Northtown Center of Amherst said there was definitely a higher tempo to the workouts than in the past. Especially since they know training camp is starting as soon as Saturday.
"I got a couple texts from my buddies yesterday saying, 'You got your therapy sessions back now,' " joked Angola native Patrick Kaleta. "So I get to go out there and do my thing."
"We're excited to go back to work, excited to see the fans again," said defenseman Jordan Leopold, who even joked he was happy to see reporters again.
"I hate to say this but I'm actually excited to see you guys here," Leopold said as everyone had a good laugh. "I very rarely will say that but it's a good day."
Andrew Peters led the group, which consisted of Jordan Leopold, Matt Ellis, Mike Weber, Drew Stafford, Patrick Kaleta, Ville Leinio, Tyler Ennis, Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott. All wore NHLPA sweaters. Former Sabre Martin Biron, now with the Rangers, was in goal along with a couple non-NHL fill-ins.
In other news:
---Sabres president Ted Black has issued a statement, thanking fans for their patience during the lockout. Black also appeared today on WGR Radio but was unable to answer questions about the shortened season because the league is still ironing out details.
---No. 1 draft pick Mikhail Grigorenko, a star for Russia at the World Junior Championships, will leave the Quebec Ramparts and attend training camp with the Sabres, coach and general manager Patrick Roy told LaPresse late Sunday night.
---Tyler Ennis said his shoulder, injured while playing in Switzerland, is 100 percent healed and he's ready for the season.
---Leopold said he expects the entire team to be in town by the weekend, including the players who are still in Europe.
Stay tuned on Sabres Edge in just a few minutes for some sharply pointed words about the lockout from Thomas Vanek.