Gorges (lower-body) will play on Thursday vs. the Senators.
Gorges had been battling a lower-body injury and at one point there was a chance that he would miss the start of the season. He appears to have made a quick recovery and practiced the last few days and will play tonight. Dan Bylsma said Gorges is “100 percent.”
Gionta (lower-body) will not play on Thursday; listed as day-to-day.
Gionta suffered an injury in practice on Tuesday and has missed the last two practice sessions, so he will be held out of the lineup tonight. Head coach Dan Bylsma said Gionta could play if he had to, but they don’t want to risk making the injury worse. He is day-to-day.
Gionta (lower-body) is not on the ice for the Sabres’ morning skate; questionable for Thursday’s game.
Gionta missed Wednesday’s practice and was not on the ice for today’s morning skate which suggests he won’t play tonight vs. the Senators. With Gionta sidelined, Sam Reinhart appears to be moving up in to the Sabres’ top six.
Lehner will make his Sabres regular season debut on Thursday.
Lerner will make his Buffalo regular season debut after starting four preseason games that yielded modest results—he was 1-2-0 with a 3.32 GAA and .884 SV% in 199 preseason minutes. The 24-year-old comes into 2015-16 with a career 2.88 GAA and .914 SV% and a big task ahead of him. Buffalo ranked 29th in the NHL with a 3.28 team GAA last year. On paper they are a better team, but they need better goaltending and it starts with Lehner.
Gorges (lower-body) is week-to-week and could miss the start of the regular season.
Gorges injury is not related to the knee he had surgery on, which is good news for the veteran defenseman, however the injury could still force him to miss regular season time. Gorges joins Zach Bogosian as injured Sabres’ defensemen who could miss the season opener. Those are both big losses for a young Buffalo team. Cody Franson and Rasmus Ristolainen will likely be leaned on to shoulder the load while Gorges and Bogosian recover.
Bogosian (undisclosed) is listed as week-to-week and could miss the season opener.
Bogosian has had an incredibly difficult time staying healthy throughout his career. He missed 20 games last season and a combined 96 games over the last three seasons. He played massive minutes (26:34 TOI/GM) with the Sabres last year and is expected to be leaned o heavily this year. His absence means the Sabres will lead to increased roles for the likes of Rasmus Ristolainen and Cody Franson.
Ristolainen (upper-body) cleared to make his preseason debut on Tuesday.
Ristolainen missed the start of camp because of an upper-body injury, but participated in practice on Monday and will play on Tuesday. The 20-year-old blueliner had 20 points (8G / 12A) in 78 games with the Sabres last year. He will be a key member of Buffalo’s backend this season and for many years to come.
The Sabres have signed Cody Franson to a two-year deal worth $6.65M (3.325 AAV).
In 2014-15, Franson split time between the Maple Leafs and Predators—he amassed a total of seven goals and 29 assists (36 points) in 78 games between the two squads. His addition makes an already improved Sabres team that much better. Expect him to play a key role on Buffalo’s power play.
The Sabres have signed Jack Eichel to a three-year, entry-level contract.
Selected second overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, Eichel joins the organization after a standout season at Boston University (NCAA-Hockey East) in which he became the second freshman – after Paul Kariya in 1993 – ever to earn the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey’s top player. Eichel led all NCAA players with 71 points (26G / 45A) in 40 games in 2014-15.