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From The Ice

Sabres hope to continue hosting NHL Combine

04 June 2015: Combine participant center Luke Kunin #120 long jumps as part of the Fitness testing during the 2016 NHL Scouting Combines at the Harbor Center Center in Buffalo, NY. (Photo by Jerome Davis/Icon Sportswire)

This is the second year that the Buffalo Sabres have hosted the NHL Draft Combine, as part of a two-year agreement that the NHL club made with the league to bring the event to New York.

Now, it seems the Atlantic Division club is hoping to renew that deal.

Per Sportsnet Canada, the Sabres are in talks with the NHL to continue hosting the combine, which takes place a few weeks before the NHL Entry Draft each year and puts a number of draft-eligible players through a series of tests prior to their selection. Teams are given the opportunity to interview players, and it gives the various general managers one final look at the prospective draftees before they finally select them.

“We found the all-under-one-roof concept works,” Marr said. “We are going to sit down and talk to them and see what their interest level is. And then we’ll go back and the National Hockey League will make its decision sooner than later as far as I hope.”

Sportsnet suggests that other teams have expressed interest in hosting the combine, as the Sabres aren’t the only club that has the necessary amenities to host the event. Their central location, though, just a few hours from a number of the teams in the Eastern Conference – and the team’s willingness to cough up the $250,000 per year to host the event, while the league had once backed the cost of the combine – could influence the NHL’s decision when it comes to giving them the event again or handing it off to a new host.

The Sabres are already hosting the 2018 World Junior Championships, which will include the first-ever outdoor game at the IIHF tournament in late December of 2017.

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