Might the Sabres be in line for their own prospect tournament?

News broke yesterday that Buffalo won’t be returning to the Traverse City Prospects Tournament after three previous appearances.

The news is slightly disappointing as the Traverse City Tournament is a terrific showcase for a team’s prospects and allows management to see their youngsters in more game situations than they’d typically get during camp and free agency. However, the tournament isn’t exactly close and there isn’t any enormous overarching benefit of shipping a busload of prospects up to the upper reaches of Michigan.

Ideally, the Sabres would take the opportunity to remove themselves from the annual event and host a similar tournament in Buffalo, utilizing HarborCenter as ground zero for the games. As John Vogl added today, it would appear that is already in the works.

With Vogl noting that the Sabres already have eyes on using HabrorCenter and First Niagara Center as the hub for such a tournament tells me that this is probably closer to fruition than we may already know. It makes too much sense for the Sabres not to do it. Continue reading

Sabres eyeing Traverse City final

A pair of 6-3 wins have the Buffalo Sabres prospects in line for a berth in the championship game at the Traverse City Prospect Tournament. UPDATE: The Sabres tweeted that they have secured a berth in the championship game. They will play the Rangers at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Nick Crawford leads the Sabres prospects with two goals and an assist in Traverse City.

Buffalo sits 2-0 after wins over Minnesota and Columbus this weekend. The Rangers also went 2-0 over the weekend and it appears both teams are set for a final showdown. Barring a blowout loss by either side, there should be nothing that eliminates them after round robin play.

Although both games bore the same score, there were few similarities beyond that. Buffalo had to come back after giving up two early goals against Minnesota. Meanwhile, the Sabres held control for much of their win over Columbus. Kevin Snow has two great write ups of both wins on the Sabres website, accompanied by video highlights. In addition, Phil from Black & Blue & Gold also has video highlights posted. I will defer to them on in-depth game coverage.

The Sabres final round robin game is against Detroit tomorrow afternoon and the Championship game will be played at 7 p.m. on Sunday. The game will be televised on MSG. The Rangers sent a crew to cover all of their games at the tournament, they have also been rebroadcast on NHL Network. Continue reading

Sabres prepared for Traverse City

Fans looking to dip their beaks in hockey action will get a small taste the week before the Buffalo Sabres preseason opens.

The Sabres are sending 23 prospects to Traverse City, Michigan to participate in the 2011-12 NHL Prospect Tournament.

Topping the list of players are Luke Adam, Zack Kassian, Brayden McNabb and Mark Pysyk. Those players are currently the top players in the Sabres’ pipeline and Adam and Kassian are expected to challenge for an NHL roster spot this season

The remaining 19 players are an assortment of draft picks from the past few seasons in addition to a few invitees. Steven Beyers, Jonathan Parker and Phil Varone all participated in the Sabres rookie camp earlier in the summer, Parker and Varone will be in camp with the Amerks in a few weeks time as well. Beyers was impressive in camp and will remain on Buffalo’s radar for him final year of junior.

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