BUFFALO – Three days before veterans must report for their training camp physicals, the official start of the new season, Sabres winger Sam Reinhart is still unsigned.
But Reinhart, 22, is in town skating informally with his teammates at HarborCenter. To Sabres general manager Jason Botterill, the restricted free agent’s presence is a positive sign.
“I’m excited that Sam’s in town here working out with our guys, being a part of things,” Botterill said after Prospects Challenge rookie tournament ended this afternoon. “We continue our dialogue with his agent and (we are) still very hopeful to get a deal done.”
Botterill said “you’re always optimistic.”
“That’s what we’re trying to be right now,” he said. “I think both sides are very complimentary.”
Reinhart scored 25 goals and 50 points, both career highs, in 82 games last season. He started slowly, however, mustering only five goals and 11 points in his first 38 outings.
The former second overall pick has compiled 65 goals and 140 points in 265 NHL contests.
Sabres rookies annihilated the Pittsburgh Penguins 10-2 this afternoon.