Sabres Open Training Camp; Ristolainen: “I’m here now, and I’m ready to work.”

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Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (55) looks to pass during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Buffalo N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

The Sabres reported to KeyBank Center as they opened up training camp Thursday. With the regular season just around the corner, lots of questions still surround Rasmus Ristolainen. The defenseman would not comment Thursday on whether or not he asked to be traded, but did say he was happy to be back in Buffalo.

“I’ve been here six years and seen this business. you never know where you’ll be next week or next month,” said Ristolainen. “I’m here now and I guess I’ll be here tomorrow looking at the schedule and I’m ready to work.”

Ristolainen addressed the interview he did back in August with Finland’s MTV Sports, where he talked about not being able to enjoy hockey in recent seasons.

“When you have rough years like I’ve had here the last six years and you don’t win much and that’s what you want, you know things get rough and you get pissed,” said the defenseman. “I was just telling them that the year wasn’t easy for me. I wasn’t blaming anyone else but you know myself, I’m hard on myself.”

While looking ahead to this season, fixes for the things caused frustration across the board a year ago seem to be a focal point.

“I think a little bit in the second half we got a little bit fragile obviously we struggled at times,” said Jack Eichel. “It was tough to string wins together. For us, it’s important if we don’t play well, if things don’t go well, just to move on and try and prepare for that next game, prepare for the next day.”

All of the players who spoke to the media Thursday had high praise for new head coach Ralph Krueger. Marcus Johansson said his conversations with Krueger were one of the big reasons why he came to Buffalo. Eichel added Krueger has been really impressive so far. The team hits the ice for the first session of training camp on Friday morning.

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