LEWISTON -- Buffalo may have a shady reputation among comics and folks who like glittering towns, but it appears to be gaining points among NHL players with families. The Rob Niedermayer signing is the second example in a week.
Niedermayer's agent, Kevin Epp, told The News by phone that family time was one of three factors that weighed into the center signing with the Sabres.
"He's expecting to be on a good team," Epp said. "I think that's important to him. When you're at the end of your career you want to play 1) in a hockey city where hockey's No. 1, and 2) you want to play for a team that has a chance to win the Stanley Cup, and 3) a good fit for him and his family. He's got a young family, so I think that was important for him.
"With the travel schedule, just where Buffalo's located, they have a pretty good thing there he wasn't used to when he played out in Anaheim. I don't think it was as important. He didn't have a young family. Last year being in New Jersey, he realized how nice it was to sleep in his own bed every night."
Defenseman Jordan Leopold made similar comments after signing with the Sabres on Thursday.
Of course, hockey also matters.
"He's a versatile guy," Epp said. "He could play center. He can play the wing. He can play a checking role, and he can also throw in his 20-30 points. He can even play the second power-play unit because he's still a big body that skates really well."