Sabres' Elie looking to make his mark

October 5, 2018

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Remi Elie had a whirlwind day after he was claimed by the Sabres. He got into town after midnight and then had practice in the morning.

Elie didn’t play on opening night, but on Friday he skated on a line with Casey Mittelstadt and Tage Thompson. Vladimir Sobotka has an upper-body injury and is day-to-day, so Elie could make his Sabres debut on Saturday against the Rangers.

Elie didn’t know if he was going to get claimed and stay in the NHL or go to the AHL. He said, “It was a long 24 hours just sitting there waiting on who was going to pick me up and I’m happy and excited to be here and be part of the Sabres.

Elie is not a big scorer, but he’s a heart and soul guy the Dallas fans didn’t want to lose. He said he wasn’t expecting to be waived, “Yes, it caught me by surprise for sure after I played a full season there and to go on waivers the next year, so I’m happy to still be in this league.”

Elie scored two goals against Buffalo last season. Housley said the youngster is just a guy that works hard, “I like Remi, just the way he practices he’s got an energy about him, he can skate, he can pass, he can shoot and he’s going to get a look at some point.”

Elie is only 23-years-old and Housley did his homework on his new winger, “I was watching his shifts from last year and I like the way he gets on the forecheck, he’s a big body and he can finish checks, but when I see him play I think he can make plays.

“He knows what he’s going to do with the puck before he gets it, he’s got a terrific shot, so he’ll get an opportunity at some point.

Housley put the team through its paces for an hour on Friday. He had to stop practice when he saw three straight turnovers and then you could hear the players.

Jeff Skinner started screaming when things weren’t done right and there was quite a bit of chatter throughout. Housley said he liked the response he got, “A lot of times it’s just teaching and telling guys where they need to be, so when you do stop practice it’s not so much a point of emphasis on something that’s getting broken, but I did like the reaction and we did talk about it.”

There was one line that really played well against Boston and that was Evan Rodrigues centering Jason Pominville and Zemgus Girgensons. Housley said there is one reason why that line spent most of their time in Boston’s end, “Because they kept it simple. When they were getting squeezed, they put it behind them, they had guys driving hard to the net, you usually saw two of our forwards at the net and they got a couple of good looks.”

None of the injured players returned to practice on Friday.


The lines were:


Sheary  Eichel  Reinhart

Skinner  Berglund  Okposo

Elie  Mittelstadt  Thompson

Girgensons  Rodrigues  Pominville


Scandella  Ristolainen

McCabe  Dahlin

Beaulieu  Nelson