Sabres' Beaulieu is about playing, not being traded

The defenseman would rather it be in Buffalo, but he just wants to play

Paul Hamilton
January 17, 2019 - 7:33 pm

Photo: Brad Mills - USA TODAY Sports

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Vancouver, BC (WGR 550) - Nate Beaulieu has played in 26 of the Sabres' 47 games this season. A few of those games he missed due to injury, but the rest have been healthy scratches.

There was a report on Wednesday that Beaulieu asked to be traded. Talking to him on Thursday, it was clear it’s about playing time. He prefers it be in Buffalo, but he just wants to play, “I’m going to make it pretty clear, I just want to play. I’m 26-years-old and I just feel like I’m still developing and I just want to be out there and that’s my main message.”

Beaulieu has told me many times that he likes Buffalo and he likes being a Sabre. He said that hasn’t changed, “The short time I’ve been here I’ve really found some lifelong friends and I know these guys love me in here and it’s a mutual feeling, so it was never anything about that it’s strictly business.”

Beaulieu is not quitting and he's not going to give up. He said, “The biggest thing for me is to keep grinding away. I’m proud to be a Buffalo Sabre and my main message is I just want to be out there.”

Guys have been there for Beaulieu during this trying time. He said, “The players are my biggest support group, they all support me very well and so does Botts.”

Housley can sympathize with Beaulieu. He said, “I understand. It’s a difficult situation and as a coach, you never want to sit out players. You base your decisions on a lot of things, but we have eight very good defensemen.

“In Nate’s defense, he’s done a very good job in the way he approached practice. He’s been professional, but we’ll probably go with the same D as we had last night because of the result and in Matt Hunwick’s defense, I’m trying to work him into the lineup because he’s been very, very patient.” 

Jeff Skinner didn’t practice on Friday after hitting the boards hard in Calgary. Housley said, “Jeff was just taking a maintenance day and he should be ready to go tomorrow.”

It’s looking like the Canucks will, once again ,be without rookie sensation Elias Pettersson. Bo Horvat got hurt Wednesday against Edmonton. They don’t know for sure on either player, but Horvat is trending towards playing.

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