The Buffalo Sabres will be one of eight teams this fall playing in the 13th annual Traverse City NHL Prospects Tournament, a pre-season gathering that allows clubs an opportunity to evaluate their talent against others' young guns in a playoff-style environment. Held in Traverse City, Michigan, this five-day, eight-team tournament is slated to begin on September 10th.
The Sabres participation in the tournament should be noted as one of the first public signs of increased scouting and player development budgets. It's been over ten years, going back to their entries into the Maple Leafs rookie tourney in Kitchener, since the Sabres packed up a group of prospects to go hit other teams' guys for five days. Through the Golisano era it would have been news if the Sabres were able to send a scout just to watch the tourney, so to actually ice a team shows that the new ownership group is serious about running a top-notch hockey department.
Joining the Sabres and host Detroit Red Wings in the Northern Michigan hotspot will be the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers, Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets, St. Louis Blues, and Minnesota Wild.
Teams are divided into two divisions for a three-day round robin tournament, then ranked by their win-loss records for final placement in seventh, fifth, third and Championship games on the final day. The winning team is presented with a plaque to take home and their name engraved onto a permanent trophy displayed year-round at Center I.C.E. Arena. This year’s tournament will be held September 10, 12, 14 and 15.