Updated: Sabres 'major announcement' for Monday focuses on '15 Scouting Combine
The Buffalo Sabres sent out a terse e-mail this evening that they are planning a "press conference for a major announcement" Monday at 1 p.m. in the First Niagara Center pavilion but did not specify the subject.
The headliner at the press conference is Colin Campbell, senior executive VP of NHL Hockey Operations, and the Sabres and league are expected to jointly announce that the annual NHL Scouting Combine will be moved from suburban Toronto to HarborCenter starting next May.
In June, the Sabres formally put in a proposal to host the Combine for the next three years. It's uncertain if the league is giving the event to the Sabres for the entirety of that bid.
HarborCenter president John Koelmel is also slated to be at the podium along with Sabres president Ted Black, Mayor Byron Brown and Kaleida Health president and CEO Jody Lemeo, a likely corporate sponsor.
The formal testing aspects of the Combine run for one day, usually the last Saturday in May. But more than 100 prospects and officials from every NHL team will be in the city for a few days prior to that doing interviews, so it's a potentially lucrative grab for the city's hotel and restaurant business.
The 20-story Marriott at HarborCenter is slated to open next June, although you wonder if that schedule could be fast-tracked so it would be ready to host the combine.
Internet chatter over the weekend had the Sabres as a potential host of the 2016 NHL Draft, and the team is likely interested in the event but it has yet to be awarded and no announcement on the event is expected to be made Monday.
The next draft -- featuring superstar centers Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel -- will be held June 26-27, 2015 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., home of the Florida Panthers.