By Mike Harrington
Don't cue any panic buttons. It's still July. But Sam Reinhart didn't take participate in the power skating practices today at Sabres prospect camp because the team said he was taking a "maintenance day."
The team's No. 1 pick took a heavy hit from Zemgus Girgensons in Tuesday night's scrimmage and got hit three times on the first two days of camp by newcomer Jordan Samuels-Thomas as well. The Sabres said they expect Reinhart to play in Friday's 3-on-3 tournament that will close their summer development sessions.
"If there's a chance for someone to finish a check, they were certainly doing it out there," Reinhart said after Tuesday's scrimmage.
Reinhart did not show any signs of injury Tuesday and finished the scrimmage. When I asked him about being a target of physical play, Reinhart said it's something he quickly got used to in the Western Hockey League.
"Personally I embrace it," he said. "I feel it's easier to play when guys are running around out of position. Not that they were tonight by any means but I feel in the past when guys do that, I'm able to embrace the physical play and capitalize when they get out of position a little bit."
In other news, the Sabres said general manager Tim Murray would be unavailable to the media today and will speak on Tyler Ennis' new contract following tomorrow's action.
Sam Reinhart takes part in a drill early in Monday's Sabres development camp. (James P. McCoy/Buffalo News)
By Mike Harrington
The Sam Reinhart Era in Buffalo took hold a couple of weeks ago at the NHL Draft in Philadelphia. But it began for real today when the Sabres' most highly-regarded draft pick of the last 27 years took the First Niagara Center ice in front of fans for the first time Monday morning.
"It was great," Reinhart said. "It was a thrill to have that all over with and finally come here. It's a lot more comforting knowing all that's over and you can really get down to business, enjoy the week and the first experience at an NHL level. I'm just kind of taking it in stride and enjoying the process."
Reinhart showed the kind of hands befitting a No. 2 overall pick in several drills and didn't shy away from any contact. Several hundred fans were in the house for the first public workouts of the week. Reinhart spoke for a few minutes to reporters Friday night after throwing the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Bisons' game at Coca-Cola Field, then signed his three-year, entry-level contract on Saturday.
"Obviously it was really exciting and an honor for me to be signed by this organization," Reinhart said today. "I'm really thankful for that. At the end of the day, it's one step closer to my ultimate goal. And my goal is to be here next year and to make an impact. It makes me feel more comfortable and gives me some confidence out there. It doesn't change anything at the end of the day. If I continue to work and prepare for what comes ahead, I know I'll be fine."
(Aside here: Don't panic. Reinhart said "next year" a couple of times in the interview. He means the 2014-15 season).
Continue reading "Reinhart thrilled to be on the ice with his first contract in tow (with AUDIO)" »
By Taylor Nigrelli
The Buffalo Sabres took a baby step in the rebuilding process Saturday as the club announced it has agreed to terms with first-round draft pick Sam Reinhart.
The deal is an entry-level contract, stretching over three years and, according to a Buffalo News source, paying the maximum $925,000 per season.
The British Columbia native, whom the Sabres selected second overall in the NHL Entry Draft last month, was named the Western Hockey League’s Player of the Year for the 2013-14 season as a center for the Kootenay Ice.
“We are very excited to have Sam under contract,” said Sabres General Manager Tim Murray. “We look forward to watching him develop and become an important part of our organization in the future.”
Additionally, the Sabres agreed to a one-year deal with forward Jordan Samuels-Thomas. The two-way deal has an NHL rate of $640,000.
The Sabres acquired the rights to Samuels-Thomas Wednesday in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets. The team gave up a conditional seventh round pick in order to acquire the 24-year-old Quinnipiac University product.
Samuels-Thomas was originally drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the seventh round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft before the franchise moved to Winnipeg.
Both will be present for Sabres Development Camp, which opens Monday morning in First Niagara Center.
Samuels-Thomas has tweeted the following messages about his signing:
By John Vogl
PHILADELPHIA -- Sam Reinhart put on a Sabres jersey tonight, just like he'd been envisioning. He has no plans to take it off.
The center, selected second overall by Buffalo in the NHL Draft, sounded confident he will play for the Sabres next season. He said he knows a spot won't simply be given to him, but think he's ready to earn one.
To hear Reinhart's inaugural news conference as a member of the Sabres, click the audio file below.