BUF -- Greetings from Buffalo airport, where I await boarding of the delayed flight to New York. That gives us time to give you some stories from around the league, starting right here in the B-lo:
*The NHL trade deadline was as quiet as it's been in years. Darcy Regier, however, feels a few messages were sent loud and clear in Buffalo.
By adding Brad Boyes, the Sabres showed they have the ability to compete for high-priced talent in the future. By keeping Tim Connolly, the team is expected to compete on the ice this season.
They were messages the general manager was thrilled to deliver.
"We decided to add and keep the players we have, and not just stay in the playoff hunt but get in and do as much damage as we can," Regier said Monday. "For us to be able to add someone that is going to contribute offensively ... it's important, and it's an important message to send to the players as well."
*Bucky Gleason writes that Regier has been the Sabres' general manager for nearly 14 years, and too many times he has confronted the masses after good players walked out the door without enough coming back. The NHL trade deadline was mostly a downer with financial constraints bubbling on the surface even though blame often rested squarely on his shoulders.
Well, there's a new sheriff in town. His name is Terry Pegula.
In less than a week after buying the franchise, Pegula uncovered a side of his general manager not often revealed at the deadline. Gone was the man who lacked the conviction and confidence required to complete deals that could improve his team. He was replaced Monday by a calm, comfortable man who appeared content with his decisions.
"I am upbeat," Regier said.
*In the wake of all the ownership talk and all the trade talk, there's this small issue of a big road trip starting tonight in Madison Square Garden. The Buffalo Sabres will equal their franchise record by playing seven straight out of town over the next 12 days. The first matchup is against the New York Rangers (7 p.m, Versus, 550 AM).
*Flip through Brad Boyes' career resume and you're instantly pulled to the 1998-99 Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League. As a 16-year-old, Boyes was the No. 4 scorer on that team with 60 points (24 goals, 36 assists). And there's two pretty familiar names also on that roster.
The leading scorer (34-34-68) was Tim Connolly. The top defenseman (9-33-42) was Steve Montador. As pending unrestricted free agents a dozen years later, Connolly and Montador had to wonder if they would get moved at Monday's NHL trade deadline. But the Buffalo Sabres chose to keep the team intact, so the former Otters will be reunited tonight in New York.
*Family members have many stories to share regarding Terry Pegula's love of the Sabres, dating to the early years when Terry was still a working man living in Olean and later, Orchard Park.
"It was always about hockey," wife Kim said. "Obviously now, in the NHL, there's a lot of entertainment."
But back when all the kids were living with their dad in the area, she said, it was all about the game. She and Terry's son Michael humorously recounted how they'd make the trip downtown, park in what is now the Adam's Mark Hotel lot or elsewhere and head over to the game.
"He wasn't trying to make the kids have a great time," Kim recalled. "No, he was all about, 'Get in the car. Don't be late. Don't complain about where we're parking. We're going to walk two miles. You don't need food. You don't need a drink.' "
*At the start of Tuesday's action, Buffalo held the advantage of having the most games remaining of any team in the East, with 21 still left to play. The Sabres hold two games in hand on the Hurricanes, the team they trail for eighth by just two points.
*The New York Post writes that Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist would have started nearly all of the final 18 games regardless, but there's little choice at the moment in the wake of the season-ending collarbone injury sustained at practice by backup Martin Biron, who played so well this season. A neophyte, Cam Talbot, is now the backup. This simply means that No. 35 is operating in nets without a safety net.
*NHL.com provides a quick snapshot and analysis of what went down on the trade market.