BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Sabres goalie Ryan Miller is back in Buffalo to rejoin his teammates, eagerly awaiting the start of the regular season, and still upset over the four-month NHL lockout.
Miller, who played a role in labor talks, called the dispute “stupid” and “a useless waste of time.” He blamed owners, and singled out NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, for prolonging the lockout into January.
Miller spoke after completing his first on-ice session with Sabres players at a suburban arena Friday. They’re preparing for training camp to open Sunday, and the season to begin a week later.
A seven-year veteran, Miller is the face of the franchise. His arrival was welcomed by teammates and about 300 fans — the largest turnout this week — who lined the boards to watch the open practice.
This group of Sabres has been growing with each new day this week, as they get closer to training camp. On Thursday, Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers skated, saying he’s ready for the start of the regular season and he is fully recovered from a high ankle sprain he sustained early last month.
Myers, the NHL’s 2010 rookie of the year, is Buffalo’s top defenseman and entering the first of a seven-year, $38.5 million contract extension he signed in September 2011. He’s set to make $12 million this season.
Other new arrivals at practice on Thursday were backup goalie Jhonas Enroth and defensemen Andrej Sekera and Adam Pardy.
Enroth spent part of the lockout playing in his native Sweden. Pardy was acquired along with center Steve Ott by Buffalo in a trade that sent center Derek Roy to Dallas last summer.
Retired Sabres Andrew Peters and Jay McKee are informally overseeing the sessions. They have consulted with the Sabres coaching staff regarding drills and what to focus on during practice.
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