BUFFALO, N.Y. - None of the Sabres seemed remotely surprised that Evander Kane was traded away, but there were other candidates to be shipped away. Upcoming free agents like Robin Lehner, Benoit Pouliot and Josh Gorges were trade candidates, but the Sabres elected to only make one deal before the NHL's trade deadline. Lehner followed NHL trades at home, wondering if his name would flash across the TV screen.
"You got family, you got kids, you want to know," he says. "I haven't gotten any indications from anyone that I'm trying to be moved. I haven't had any discussions."
A few hours before the deadline, a report emerged that Lehner demanded a trade. The Sabres goalie saw the story being carried by Swedish websites. Lehner vehemently disagreed with the report, calling it "fake news" and saying he wants to stay in Buffalo and help turn around the team.
"I've learned to really like it here," he says. "We'll see what happens."
"Guys want to be here and be a part of the solution," says head coach Phil Housley. "I really liked the energy we had today. It was a short practice but we got a lot accomplished."
"We can change things here," says center Ryan O'Reilly. "I want to be a part of it. I have to do a better job at a lot of things. We have an opportunity to change next year."
O'Reilly has five years left on his deal, but the Sabres have to think about Lehner and decide if he's worth another contract.