Despite the fact he's currently not under contract, restricted free-agent defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen participated in Buffalo Sabres practice Thursday after asking permission from general manager Tim Murray.
Ristolainen played out the final year of his entry-level deal last season, and showed up for the morning skate as a gesture of "goodwill," according to John Vogl of the Buffalo News.
While negotiations may be at a standstill, the 21-year-old showing a desire to practice with his teammates is smart, at least in the eyes of head coach Dan Bylsma.
"It's great that he wants to," Bylsma said. "The contract negotiation is between Tim and the agent, and obviously Rasmus is involved, but he wants to be back on the ice with his teammates, and that's a good thing."
As a member of the Sabres' top defensive pairing last season, Ristolainen amassed a career-high 41 points, suiting up for all 82 games.
Buffalo's regular season begins Oct. 13 versus Montreal.