BY RANDY SCHULTZ—One of the first questions asked of Zach Bogosian, veteran defenseman with the Buffalo Sabres, was how healthy was he. His response was quick and to the point.
“I’m good to go,” responded Bogosian
The reason for the question is pretty obvious. While the blue liner has been with the Sabres for three full seasons, Bogosian has never played in more than 64 regular-season contests, including just 18 games last season.
The 2017-18 season saw Bogosian have season-ending hip surgery that led to a long off-season of recovery. With a healthy Bogosian ready for this NHL season it is hoped that he will be teamed up with Rasmus Dahlin, the Sabres as well as the overall number one pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft.
“I know that it has been a long time since I was able to say ‘I’m ready to go’ but I feel good. I had a good summer of training and I’m good to go.”
Now in his 12th season of play in the NHL the 28 year-old began his recovery from surgery back in June, skating just a couple of times per week. When he got to July Bogosian picked up the pace skating more times per week.
“By August I was pushing my skating to four or five times per week,” explained Bogosian, who bsegan his NHL career with the Atlanta Thrashers. “It was consistent like that right up to the beginning of training camp.”
Did the veteran defenseman ever have any doubts about his return?
“You always wonder what it’s going to feel like when you come back,” stated Bogosian, the third pick overall by the Thrashers in the 2008 NHL Draft. “I think in the past I was a bit overaggressive in coming back from a few injuries. I kind of hurt myself more.
“This time I eased my way into it. Tried to be smart with it.”
Besides surgery, Bogosian will also be wearing a new number this season. 4.
“It was my favorite number growing up,” said Bogosian. “When I got here from Winnipeg four was already taken. So was 44. So I went with 47.
“Now I’m getting four. Nothing special. Just a favorite number.”
With his surgery behind him and a new uniform number, Bogosian looks ahead to a new season for himself as well as the Sabres. Bogosian believes that the team has no place to go but up after finishing dead last, 31st overall, in the NHL last season.
“We’re not dwelling on what’s happened in the past,” said the Massena, NY native. “And you can’t look too far into the future.
“You’ve got to worry about what is in front of you at that moment. I think everyone had a chance to clear their heads over the summer and come back with a positive mindset.
“We have several new players on the team this year. Everybody seems to be working together. We’re trying to take things one day at a time and one game at a time.
“We win games as a team, not as individuals. This is a team effort.
“We’re excited for the upcoming season.”