Terry Pegula

Buffalo lands next two NHL scouting combines


Toronto’s reign of combine dominance is over!

OK, bit dramatic there, but it’s slow and there is news to report — Buffalo has landed the NHL Scouting Combine for 2015 and ’16, the NHL confirmed on Monday.

“The NHL Combine is an essential event for all of our Member Clubs in advance of the Draft, which continues to grow in importance,” NHL VP of hockey ops Colin Campbell said in a statement. “The League has pushed to improve the Combine each year and the state-of-the-art facilities in Buffalo will allow us to further enhance the quality of the event for our teams, prospects and media.”

While a big score for Buffalo and the HarborCenter — the $172 million hockey/entertainment facility privately funded by Sabres owner Terry Pegula — the news doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Back in June, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed Buffalo was “vigorously pursuing” the combine and, as various outlets have suggested, Buffalo is also gunning to host the World Junior Hockey championships in 2018.

Per TSN, the NHL did offer its other teams an opportunity in June to submit bids for combine hosting duties. TSN also notes that the Sabres had proposed to host the event for at least the next three years.

Previously, the combine had been held inside a convention center in Toronto — which had no on-ice testing and not much room for fans to show up and attend. The HarborCenter layout is much more conducive for a large-scale event.

WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Red Wings

Henrik Zetterberg, Steven Stamkos
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Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.

Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.

While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.


After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
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Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”