Zach Bogosian (4) battles Toronto's Zach Hyman last season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ Zach Bogosian emotional after return to practice

BUFFALO – Zach Bogosian wasn’t about to let Henri Jokiharju skate by him today, even during a practice drill. So the Sabres defenseman rammed his teammate into the KeyBank Center glass, a move that looked better suited for a game.

“It was just the way the drill was going,” a smiling Bogosian said after practicing for the first time this season. “It was either that or he was going to go by me. That’s probably six, seven months of built-up excitement.”

Bogosian, who underwent hip surgery in April, couldn’t hide his happiness today.

While he has been skating about a month on his own, he hadn’t been on the ice with his teammates since his last game March 28.

The last seven or eight months have been tough.

“It’s really been a learning experience,” Bogosian said. “I found out a lot about myself. It’s something … it’s kind of tough to put into words how it feels to go through something like that unless you’ve been through it.

“To sit here and try to put it into words would probably give a disservice to everything I’ve been through and the people who have helped me out so much.”

When Bogosian was asked about his support system, he paused for a moment and got a little choked up.

“It starts with, you know, my family,” he said. “Yeah, it’s my family. I’ll leave it at that.”

Bogosian, of course, has endured a rash of injuries over his Sabres career. In 2017-18, he had season-ending surgery on his other hip.

He played 65 games last season before the Sabres shut him down.

Looking back, Bogosian, 29, knows he probably should’ve had both hips repaired at the same time.

“It looks like a great idea right now,” he said.

He added: “I don’t work with what-ifs or should’ve, could’ve, would’ve.”

The Sabres originally said the Massena native would need five or six months to recover before he he suffered setbacks.

Right now, Bogosian, who’s listed as week-to-week, is essentially going through his own training camp. He has no timetable for his return.

Bogosian said today, the Sabres’ first practice following their two-game trip to Sweden, was circled on his calendar since last week.

“If the team obviously wasn’t on the trip, I may have been back with the team maybe last week if they were around,” he said.

Check back later for a full story on Bogosian.

Meanwhile, Krueger said center Marcus Johansson, who missed today’s session with a lower-body injury, will be evaluated Thursday morning.

“We don’t expect it to be long-term,” he said. “It’s really just something we’re being careful about.”

 

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