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“Sabres University” embraces iPads

Lindy Ruff

Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff blows the whistle to start a drill during NHL hockey practice in Buffalo, N.Y., Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011. The injury-riddled Sabres received a bit of a boost when goalie Ryan Miller returned to practice for the first time since sustaining a concussion/neck injury. (AP Photo/David Duprey)


The Buffalo Sabres organization has really embraced the use of technology - particularly iPads - for their “Sabres University” program, but as the team’s Web site points out, it’s not for fun stuff like playing “Angry Birds.”

Instead, the iPads run a specialized coaching “GamePlan” app that acts as the club’s first electronic textbook.

“We have all the security on here so they can’t surf the internet, download apps or music. Everything is hockey specific,” Sabres staffer Scott Schranz said. “I remember when we told all the players they were getting iPads, and they all got pretty excited about it. Then we had to remind them it was for work, not for fun.”

Lame. Couldn’t they at least let them boot up Spotify/Pandora* so they can listen to some sweet tunes while learning?

Either way, the Sabres are really taking advantage of the technology to try to teach their up-and-comers. They’re also keeping track of who’s using it.

“We track every player that takes out and returns their iPad,” Schranz said. “There’s also a built-in reporting system in the app. I can go in and look at how many times a player has logged into it, how many times they’ve reviewed a video clip, how many times they’ve downloaded video or how many times they’ve looked at the documents. We are easily able to monitor who’s using the program and who isn’t.”

Overall, it’s pretty cool and interesting, even if the Sabres seem like they’re being totally uptight about how fun the Internet can be. No LOL Cats, really?

* - The kids still use Spotify and/or Pandora, right?