Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

March 22, 2012

Sabres' Turnbull replaces injured Kaleta in NHL debut

BUFFALO — Travis Turnbull said he never stopped believing he’d crack the NHL someday. Still, the odds looked stacked against the undrafted center. The Sabres possess a slew of talented youngsters and high-priced veterans in Rochester.

The 25-year-old Turnbull’s name has rarely popped up as a prospect since he was inked out of the University of Michigan in 2009.

The Sabres had already summoned six forwards from the AHL this season when Turnbull’s phone rang Tuesday night. It was Rochester coach Ron Rolston.

“I kind of had the feeling that was why he was calling me,” Turnbull said Wednesday inside the First Niagara Center prior to making his NHL debut in the Sabres’ 3-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens. “It was probably the best thing I’ve ever heard in my life.”

Eight Sabres have made their first NHL appearance this season. Turnbull called making the big leagues “so surreal.”

“The feeling is nothing that I’ve never really felt before,” he said. “It’s something that each and every one of us has worked our entire life (for). To finally be here and get an opportunity to play for the Sabres is unbelievable.”

The first person Turnbull called after receiving the special news? His father, Perry Turnbull, who played 608 NHL games with St. Louis, Montreal and Winnipeg in the 1970s and 80s.

“He was pretty excited. He didn’t act like he was that excited, but I know he was,” Travis Turnbull said. “He was just kind of like, ‘That’s awesome. I’m so happy for you and proud of you.’”

Patrick Kaleta’s injury (upper body) necessitated the recall. Turnbull, 6-feet and 193 pounds, showcases a similar physical style to the hard-hitting winger.

“I just try to bring a lot of energy, be physical, good defensively and also I can score some goals, too,” said Turnbull, who had 12 goals, 27 points and 94 penalty minutes in 53 games with Rochester.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Pro Sports
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page