The Buffalo Sabres Coach Ralph Krueger announced today that forwards Curtis Lazar and Kyle Okposo are both day-to-day after sustaining lower-body injuries. This means that both players are likely to miss the beginning of the 2020-21 NHL regular season.
Buffalo Sabres Injuries: Kyle Okposo and Curtis Lazar
Ralph Krueger said that Curtis Lazar and Kyle Okposo are both day-to-day with lower-body injuries. Lazar did not practice this morning, while Okposo left Tuesday's practice after a bit. #Sabres
— Brayton J. Wilson (@BraytonJWilson) January 12, 2021
Brayton J. Wilson, a member of the Buffalo sports media reported that Curtis Lazar missed today’s practice entirely, whereas Kyle Okposo left after participating on the third line at the start of the morning. During the media availability interviews, Coach Ralph Krueger confirmed the respective injuries. These present as yet another depth-forward setback for the Buffalo Sabres during their preseason training camp. Last week, winger Zemgus Girgensons suffered a season-ending hamstring injury during a team scrimmage.
Kyle Okposo is entering his fifth season as a Buffalo Sabre. He is a bottom-six forward who can be relied upon for double-figure goal production, Okposo has tallied 57 goals and 137 points during his time in upstate New York. He has three years left of his $42 million dollar deal, which he signed in 2016. ($6 million AAV)
What This Means Going Forward
After Okposo left the ice today, Casey Mittelstadt, Rasmus Asplund and Jack Quinn spent time filling the void on the third line’s right wing. This line was centred by Cody Eakin and had Tobias Rieder on the left wing.
Curtis Lazar signed a two-year extension with the Buffalo Sabres last September worth $1.6 million. This will be his second season in Buffalo. During the 2019-20 season, Lazar played 38 games for Buffalo. He scored five goals and recorded 10 points during that span. Lazar also spent time down in the AHL with the Rochester Americans, the Sabres’ affiliate.
The injuries come at an unfortunate time with less than three days before the Sabres’ season opener. The Buffalo Sabres will drop the puck on the 2020-21 season in a home-opener against the Washington Capitals at 7 pm ET on Friday, January 15th.