The Buffalo Sabres skated off to Christmas break Sunday morning. The team practiced at HarborCenter for about an hour. And by practice, we mean scrimmaged 4-on-4 and 3-on-3. Head coach Dan Bylsma said there wasn't much structure to the day, just a chance to get a sweat and ice time before sending the players home for holiday break. The Sabres are off until Dec. 26 when they play at Boston. The collective bargaining agreement has the league dark from Dec. 23-25 meaning no team activities (including practices and team flights) are to be held. The Sabres gave the players two extra days to recover from a brutal schedule and spend time with family.
"Really kinda wanted to get here and get a sweat, not a lot of structure to today at all but get a sweat and kick ‘em out the door and get them on their way to their break wherever they’re going," Bylsma said.
Also of note, the NHL rosters are frozen until Dec. 27. No player can be traded, waived or demoted in that time frame. Emergency call-ups are the only transactions permissible.
Missing from practice on Sunday was defenseman Josh Gorges.
"He had the flu," Bylsma said of Gorges. "He was coming down with the flu yesterday, made it through the game yesterday and just under the weather. Didn’t want him around the guys."