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Audio: Departed Sabres thrilled to get playoff chances, concerned about tanking

TAMPA, Fla. -- All four Sabres traded today got sent off to likely playoff teams, which seems like a good reward from General Manager Tim Murray for enduring the horrid season. Torrey Mitchell, who grew up outside Montreal, was particularly thrilled to get a chance to play for a Stanley Cup in his hometown.

Chris Stewart was relieved a deal was done -- even though he learned his destination after the deadline during a live interview on TSN. Brian Flynn was the most surprised, although he knew he was a restricted free agent.

Michal Neuvirth was also happy to go to the New York Islanders and back up Jaroslav Halak, the goaltender he was traded for to come to Buffalo last year.

Neuvirth and Stewart also had some pretty strong anti-tanking sentiment about what the Sabres are trying to "accomplish" this year.

Neuvirth: "I mean, that's crazy if you want to finish last to get a first draft pick. It just doesn't seem right to me. You always want to win. And if you're playing for last place, I don't think it's right."

Stewart: "I do feel for them. Just for the fact everybody keeps talking about the TankNation and all that and tanking for McDavid. I know those guys in the dressing room. They gave it their all every night. It's something that they're not thinking about coming to the rink every day. It's frustrating hearing that every game.

"It's kind of insulting to the guys in the dressing room who go out there, block shots, get their face punched in and play the right way. I do feel for them. I know days are dark right now. It's not going to last forever. They definitely have got some pieces and are going in the right direction."

Click below to hear the exit interviews of the now-former Sabres:

Brian Flynn

Michal Neuvirth 

Chris Stewart

Torrey Mitchell

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