By Tim Schmitt
BUFFALO — Ever notice that hockey players want to be rock stars and rock stars want to be hockey players?
The same holds true for the Buffalo Sabres, who paraded with the likes of Nickelback and Poison. The Sabres skated for the first time as a team on Friday at HSBC Arena.
Here’s a quick look at how Andrew Peters, Ryan Miller and Derek Roy spent their summer vacations.
St. Catharines, Ontario
“I came in and had my body butchered by (strength coach) Doug McKenney every day. It was three months of hell. Rewarding, but at the same time it wasn’t much fun. I went to my cottage up in Muskoka (Ontario) and went to Las Vegas for a wedding.
“I went to Vegas for three days and I hate it. I hate Vegas. I didn’t enjoy myself one bit. That’s it. I’m boring. If I didn’t have to lose 20-something pounds this summer, I’d have a lot more to say. I went to a Nickelback concert and hung out with them after the show. That was the highlight of my summer. I snuck down after the concert. Nobody seemed to want to stop me. I acted like owned the place. I saw Chad (Kroeger, lead singer) standing in the hallway and asked him how he was doing. They signed a guitar for me.
East Lansing, Mich.
“I snuck out with Poison. Hung out with Bret Michaels when they were in Michigan. My aunt used to work backstage at a festival and she got my passes. His tour manager is a huge Sabres fan, he grew up just outside of Buffalo in Ontario. We got talking about hockey and I mentioned that I play hockey and he asked who for and when I told him, he couldn’t believe it. He told Bret, ‘these guys are all right.’ He said, ‘yeah, they look cool,’ so we grabbed a drink and hung out for a while. He’s a nice guy. It was pretty tame. Definitely a lot of people on the bus trying to meet him.
“I was just hanging back on the bus with one of my closest friends. Just kind of took it all in. When it was time to mosey, we moseyed. Wasn’t too big of a rock-star party. It’s kind of like we are, he’s a regular person, and he wanted to make sure we were having fun. It’s kind of nice, when no one paying attention to you.
“We went up north a little in Michigan, too, and did some camping. Kind of hopped around from lake to lake. Sometimes, we were on the big lake, sometimes the small one. Very nice.”
“I relaxed a lot. I was pretty sore after the playoffs. I needed a couple weeks to get back into shape again. I worked hard at it, stayed here in Buffalo. I went on a cruise, that was fun. The western Caribbean for a week. That was time to relax. I didn’t even watch the finals. I was kind of mad, so I couldn’t watch it. I just wanted to get away from everything.
“There were four stops for nine hours each stop. The boats so big and so much to do on the cruise. There’’s always food and stuff, although I tried to stay away from the kitchen. There’s a gym to workout. Three pools. We went to Cozumel. It was pretty nice.”
If you go
• WHAT: Sabres practice/scrimmage
• WHEN: 10:30 a.m. today
• WHERE: HSBC Arena
• THE BUZZ: Sabres to unveil their new uniforms and throwback jerseys that will be used as alternate sweaters. Team will practice, then scrimmage.