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Sabres' desire to inspire comes to a head – a stuffed buffalo head

The new addition to the Sabres' dressing room won't score any goals. He won't give fiery pep talks. Actually, he won't do much of anything.

But coach Phil Housley hopes the newcomer helps bring his team together.

High on the wall of the dressing room, above the door that leads to the video area, is a giant stuffed buffalo head. It's visible from everywhere inside the round room, and its dominating presence overlooks everything.

"It's just a bit of a change," Housley said Monday in KeyBank Center. "I think it's a powerful message for our guys in that locker room. It represents what we want to be: coming together as a family, as a herd. We're just honoring it.

"I think it makes a statement, for sure, but it's what we represent as a team."

Housley declined to say who came up with the idea, but the stuffed buffalo is the latest in a line of locker-room oddities. Through the years, the Sabres have handed out a fake bird, white sport coat, metal sword and mink coat to their "player of the game."

The Sabres' Drew Stafford wears the special "player of the game" jacket to celebrate Buffalo's Northeast Division-clinching victory over the New York Rangers on April 6, 2010 . (NHLI via Getty Images)

Unlike those trinkets, this isn't moving from stall-to-stall.

"It's an internal thing," Housley said. "It's something that we can build around as a group. The buffalo represents everything we want to be: fast and powerful."

There's also a new inscription in the dressing room, though it's not as obvious as the buffalo head. As the Sabres leave the room for the ice, they'll read, "Witness the power, Buffalo Sabres."

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