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WNYers Bailey, Malone set for simultaneous fitness testing at NHL combine

By John Vogl

The NHL combine is underway in Toronto, but the heavy lifting won't come until later this week. Two local players -- Justin Bailey and Sean Malone -- will lift at the same time.

Representatives from all 30 teams began gathering in The True North over the weekend, and more than 100 draft-eligible prospects were set to join them. Teams can interview as many prospects as they wish during a four-day span (Monday through Thursday), and they have access to independent medical reports.

"What the players have to keep in mind is that this will be their initial contact with many NHL teams, so they have the chance to make that good initial impression," Dan Marr, NHL director of central scouting, told "Some kids aren't that comfortable when they're in an interview environment, so it's important they be prepared to talk about themselves, which is something they might not be used to doing. The combine gives the NHL teams a chance to get to know the player away from the rink."

The talks lead to action at the end of the week. The fitness test portion of the combine will be conducted Friday and Saturday. Bailey, who's ranked 38th by Central Scouting, and Malone, who is No. 62, will work out at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

There are 13 individual tests designed to show the prospects' endurance.


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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

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Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

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