Summer Slugs on Purple Eagle Ice

by Ryan

So I was “in the area” yesterday and decided to hit up Sabres Camp at Dwyer Arena. Now that the draft picks and I are best friends, I figured I should watch them from afar and study how they are shaped by the firm hands of our coaching staff. Yeah, that sounds about right.

If you haven’t been to Dwyer yet and plan on heading up this weekend for camp, I thought I’d give a brief overview of how it works.

First of all the players is going to be split into two groups. (At least until Monday, because they seem to scrimmage full teams on the last day) The first group plays in the rink with real seating (below), and group two plays on another rink to the left of the big stage.

Lindy and Co. gathering the team up for instructions before 2 on 1 drills

Your best view of the action is going to be from this rink, but that depends on who you want to watch. For the record, Kennedy and Gerbe played on the other rink on Thursday, upsetting dozens of little girls who want to watch a pint sized eagle score. (No, not Verne Troyer. Sickos)

Nice hat.

This is rink two, with a much, much different point of view. For some reason Dwyer hasn’t expanded this rink yet, but I guess they’ve been talking about it for years. In any event, this perspective gave you a good view of Roost favorite Bradley Eidsness, the 07 pick who will be attending the University of North Dakota in the fall. Brad looked pretty sharp yesterday, so that was nice to see.

A good shot of the type of learning we saw. It’s a camera phone pic, but there’s a look at Jordon Southorn on one knee to the right of the stretching player in blue. Southy had a solid day in camp, and it was nice to see him playing well early.

Worst seat in the house?

Overall I’d say rink one is your best bet. Unless things get crazy in there this weekend you should be able to move from rink to rink. I stood in the back for most of the session and could see fine Some thoughts on what went down:

-Everyone is going to be looking at Tyler Myers, but I have to say I liked what I saw. Most players over 6’5″ have an awkwardness in their skating, but Tyler was very… smooth. He didn’t look lanky, he didn’t look uncomfortable, and he wasn’t afriad to use his size to move some bodies. You could tell Lindy was careful with him, and he talked to him at length a few times during the session, but I was impressed by his initial play.

-So I’ve decided that Nathan Gerbe is going to be pretty good. Yup, you heard it here first.

-Drew Stafford is a conundrum. Seriously, I don’t even know what to say about him anymore.

-Quinn’s jeans/loafers with no socks look isn’t cutting it.

-Sekera played well. Lock the kid up long term before he cracks the top four.

-The second rink had a much looser flow to the practice. Without the Iron Fist of Lindy there seemed to be more talking and laughing. TJ Brennan, Weber, and Zagrapan seemed to really like one coach there.(I have no idea what that means. Sorry)

-One more thing: I miss real hockey.

I think some us are making at least one more trip out to Dwyer, so if you feel like meeting a blogger or two, drop us a line. We won’t be taking copious notes like some, but we’d like to think we are a nice alternative to the cold, empty purple seat next to you otherwise.

5 Comments

  1. Anne

    I was thinking about going up on the weekend….but that might be a terrible idea with like everyone else in WNY there too. I’ll probably be heading up on Sunday or Monday and try to avoid the girls on summer break popping their gum and texting their friends who are at summer camp. “LOLZ STAFFY IS TOTALLY HAWT”.

  2. dani

    Yes, Anne, I quite agree… Monday was my bet as well. Mondays are my usual Dwyer trips anyways. I was thinking about today, but no way in hell with it being friday and all.

    I don’t know why, but I didn’t think they were going to use both rinks. The second one is the “practice” rink. And it’s warmer there for some reason. Maybe it’s because people are more confined in that area?

  3. sabresfan88

    I’ll be there at least once over the weekend. I’ll be the guy in the hat and t-shirt.

  4. twoeightnine

    How much longer is it going on for? I just got a new lens and need something to try it out on.

  5. Ryan

    Till Tuesday, I believe. July 1st, right? It’s not a bad view if you want to shoot some pictures, but I’d wait until the weekday to get some shots in if you can. The crowd today was much bigger than on Thursday.