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Goloubef gets chance to earn a contract in Sabres' preseason opener

Cody Goloubef is alone in more ways than one.

The defenseman is in Sabres training camp on a professional tryout, making him the only player who isn't assured of having a home this season. The other 50 guys have minor-league or junior options if they don't make the Sabres.

Goloubef also arrived in Buffalo without knowing a soul.

"I'm coming in blind," Goloubef said Monday. "I don't know many guys, maybe one or two from way back when. Other than that I'm coming in for a business trip, and we'll see what happens.

"It's easier. I just stick to myself, go about your business and try and get better every day and prove yourself."

He's getting an early chance. The 27-year-old will be in the lineup Monday night when the Sabres open the exhibition schedule against Carolina (7 p.m., WGR-AM 550).

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"It'll be fun," Goloubef said in KeyBank Center. "You always want to play. It's better than practicing. You can show your stuff in a real game against other guys."

The University of Wisconsin product has bounced between the NHL and American Hockey League during the last seven seasons. He's totaled 129 NHL games, recording two goals, 23 points and a minus-4 rating. He played 33 games for Colorado last year, earning five assists.

The Sabres bolstered their defensive unit during the offseason, adding Marco Scandella, Nathan Beaulieu and Victor Antipin to a group that includes holdovers Rasmus Ristolainen, Zach Bogosian, Jake McCabe, Josh Gorges, Justin Falk, Taylor Fedun and Casey Nelson. Brendan Guhle and Matt Tennyson are also hopeful of earning a spot.

"I had a few options, and I just surveyed where I thought was the best opportunity to play in the NHL," Goloubef said. "I made a decision with my agent and family, and it was here."

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