AMHERST, N.Y.- Patience is underrated. One day after the NHL and players union reached an agreement to end the lockout, the Buffalo Sabres returned to the ice.
Sabres forwards Thomas Vanek, Tyler Ennis and Patrick Kaleta, along with a handful of other teammates, practiced at the Northtown Center in Amherst on Monday.
"The overall consensus is that everyone's excited to get back to work," said Kaleta.
Before the Sabres officially get back to work, the league and union still have to ratify the agreement.
WEB EXTRA: Sabres' Goalie Ryan Miller on the lockout ending
Reports say the NHL sent a memo to teams that there will be a 48-game schedule and the regular season will start on Saturday, Jan. 19th. 2 On Your Side asked the Sabres about this, and they could not comment on any memos sent to them by the league.
Assuming both sides vote to approve the deal, the Sabres and rest of the NHL will have less than two weeks to Opening Day, and less than a week until training camp. The brief time frame can be an issue for health concerns."
"You're going to play a lot more games in a shorter span, so if you do get hurt and miss three or four weeks, that's a quarter of the season," said Vanek.
However, players like Kaleta use the Sabres fans as a healing mechanism.
"40-percent of my game is from the fans, just feeding my energy off of them. I look forward to stepping on the ice and hearing 19-20,000 fans again."
The Sabres' President Ted Black issued a letter to fans about the team moving forward..
The Sabres will have further details for fans regarding tickets and other logistics once the labor agreement is ratified, and the NHL notifies the team.