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Sabres Notebook: Pominville gets No. 29 back; Devils' Butcher to play in Buffalo

Sabres fans who still have their old Jason Pominville jerseys can wear them again. He is going to continue to wear No. 29.

The Sabres did some number crunching Monday, announcing uniforms for 13 players. Pominville, reacquired this offseason, will wear his familiar No. 29 when the Sabres return to the ice next month.

Defenseman Jake McCabe gave up No. 29 and will switch to No. 19, the number he wore in college at Wisconsin.

The new numbers include changes for six other players:

*Forward Justin Bailey will be No. 95 after wearing No. 56. Bailey wore 95 in Rochester and juniors.

*Forward Nick Baptiste will switch to No. 13 from No. 73. He wore 13 with the Amerks.

*Forward Hudson Fasching will wear No. 24 after being No. 52. He wore 24 in college at Minnesota.

*Forward Alex Nylander will wear No. 92 after being No. 70. He wore 92 in juniors.

*Defenseman Taylor Fedun will go to No. 27 from No. 38.

*Defenseman Casey Nelson will switch to No. 8 from No. 34.

New defenseman Marco Scandella will wear No. 6, which was previously worn by new Buffalo coach Phil Housley. Fellow defense acquisition Nathan Beaulieu will wear No. 82, while blue-line signee Victor Antipin will be No. 93.

Among new forward arrivals, Benoit Pouliot will wear No. 67 and Jacob Josefson will wear No. 10.

Bailey and Nylander will become the first Buffalo players to wear their respective numbers.

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Will Butcher didn’t pick the Sabres, but the defenseman will be playing in Buffalo next week.

The heavily courted free agent signed a two-year contract with New Jersey, putting him in line to participate in the Sabres’ annual prospects challenge. Young players for the Sabres, Devils, Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins will play Sept. 8-11 in HarborCenter, and Butcher is expected to be on the ice.

The Devils, who selected center Nico Hischier with the No. 1 overall pick in the NHL Draft, will face the Sabres at 7 p.m. Sept. 8 during the opening day of the challenge.

Butcher, the Hobey Baker Award winner from the University of Denver, signed with the Devils on Sunday night after hearing pitches from numerous NHL teams. His four finalists were New Jersey, the Sabres, Vegas and Los Angeles Kings.

Butcher said Monday that his talks with Devils coach John Hynes sealed the decision.

“I kind of hit it off with coach Hynes,” Butcher said on a conference call. “I think he’s a sound hockey mind, a sound coach. It’s a great fit with how I want to play.

“They cater to their guys and help get them ready for the NHL game. Certain things, from taking repetitions to going out one day and taking puck touches. It was very appealing for me to talk about that stuff: To take a younger guy like me, 22, just coming into the NHL, and they’re going to put me in places to succeed rather than just throw me into the fire of the NHL.”

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