MONTREAL – A two-game homestand to start the season, another Jack Eichel return to Buffalo and eight matinees are among the highlights of the Sabres’ 2022-23 schedule that was revealed Wednesday by the NHL.
The Sabres will open their 82-game slate against the Ottawa Senators on Thurs., Oct. 13 at 7 p.m., followed two days later by a 1 p.m. matinee meeting against Sam Reinhart and the Florida Panthers. Eichel, the former Sabres captain traded to Vegas following a dispute over his preferred treatment for a herniated disk, will be back in Buffalo on Thurs., Nov. 10.
The NHL released its full slate Wednesday on the eve of the draft, officially reverting the league back to its typical annual calendar. The Sabres will wrap the regular season at home against Ottawa on Thurs., April 13 at 7 p.m. The Covid-19 pandemic and Winter Olympics caused the previous two schedules to end in May. Without a long Olympic break, the NHL doesn’t have to give its teams additional time off.
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However, the Sabres have their league-mandated weeklong bye with no games between Feb. 1 and 11.
While the Sabres have yet to announce a date for the retirement of Ryan Miller’s No. 30, the pre-game ceremony is expected to occur sometime in October when the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame typically holds its induction event.
A few candidates, in addition to the early October games against Ottawa and Florida, are home meetings against Montreal (Thurs., Oct. 27), Chicago (Sat., Oct. 29), Detroit (Mon., Oct. 31) and Pittsburgh (Weds., Nov. 2).
The Sabres’ first road trip is their longest of the season and begins Oct. 18 in Edmonton and includes three additional stops: Calgary (Oct. 20), Vancouver (Oct. 22) and Seattle (Oct. 25). There are eight road trips of three-plus games, with their first game in Toronto scheduled for Nov. 19.
The Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche visit KeyBank Center on Thurs., Dec. 1, while Buffalo-area natives Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks and Alex Iafallo of the Los Angeles Kings will be in town Oct. 29 and Dec. 13, respectively.
Tampa Bay will be in Buffalo for a game on Dec. 23 before the Sabres begin their league-mandated three-day holiday break. And Bills fans won’t have to worry about any conflicts. The Sabres don’t have a Sunday game until Dec. 4, the week of the Bills’ Thursday night meeting against New England.
The Sabres’ next Sunday game occurs on New Years Day in Ottawa – one day before the Bills face Cincinnati on Monday Night Football. Buffalo’s first and only home game against rival Toronto isn’t until Tues., Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. The schedule also includes 13 back-to-backs with the first Nov. 15-16.
The NHL’s season begins in Europe on Fri., Oct. 7, when the Nashville Predators play the San Jose Sharks in Prague, Czech Republic. First faceoff in North America is Tues., Oct. 11 with a doubleheader that has Tamp Bay hosting the New York Rangers and Eichel’s Golden Knights playing the Kings in Los Angeles.
Ticket information for the Sabres and a national television schedule will be released at a later date.
Nadeau on the move
Fresh off a Memorial Cup run, Sabres prospect Olivier Nadeau was traded by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Shawinigan Cataractes to Gatineau Olympiques for a haul of draft picks and 17-year-old defenseman Thomas Hebert.
Nadeau, 19, signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Sabres in May amid an impressive season in Shawinigan. Between the regular season and playoffs, the 6-foot-2 winger had 39 goals and 94 points in 81 games. He helped Shawinigan win the QMJHL title and reach the Memorial Cup.
Nadeau cannot join the Rochester Americans until next spring at the earliest, so he’ll play another season of junior hockey before starting his professional career.
Amerks home opener
The Amerks announced Thursday that their 2022-23 home opener will take place Oct. 14 inside Blue Cross Arena. Rochester advanced to the third round of the Calder Cup Playoffs this season, dropping the North Division final to the Laval Rocket.