The nights are getting cooler, people are closing their pools and raking up the leaves. You know what time of year it is -- hockey season.

The Buffalo Sabres went into the off-season with some holes that needed to be filled. The Sabres lost some veteran defensemen. Henrik Tallinder signed with the New Jersey Devils, and Toni Lydman went to the Anaheim Ducks. The defensemen that the Sabres signed to fill those holes are Jordan Leopold, Rob Niedermayer and Shaone Morrisonn.

Lindy Ruff, who led the team to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1999, will take the helm for his 13th season with the Sabres.

This year's offense is led by dominant forces such as Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy, and a solid defense will take the ice with the three veterans added to the team along with second-year star Tyler Myers.

The Sabres have the chance to do well again in the 2010-11 season, especially with Ryan Miller in net, one of the best goalies in the NHL. During the off-season, Miller captured the Vezina trophy, which is awarded to the best goalkeeper in the league. Miller was chosen on 28 of 30 ballots, with 23 first-place selections.

Zack Kassian, the Sabres first-round draft selection, worked hard in the preseason to make the Sabres roster, but will have to wait at least another year as he was sent back to the junior league Saturday.

The Sabres have looked very good in the preseason. With the big additions Buffalo made over the summer, the team should do very well this season.

The Buffalo Sabres regular season starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Ottawa against the Senators. The team's home opener is at 7 p.m. Saturday against the New York Rangers.

Keith Latta is a freshman at Newfane High School.