Buffalo Sabres coach Ron Rolston is tempering his initial expectations after all the changes the team made over the past year.
Rolston is opening his first full season after taking over in February when Lindy Ruff was fired. And he's overseeing a roster that's been transformed following the team's youth movement over the past two seasons.
And more changes could be in store with goalie Ryan Miller and forward Thomas Vanek's futures uncertain beyond this season.
That has led Rolston to caution that he doesn't expect the Sabres to start revealing their true potential until a few months into the season.
Patience remains the watchword in Buffalo, for a franchise that's missed the playoffs in four of the past six seasons.
The Sabres open at Detroit on Oct. 2.