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Chris Butler says goodbye to Buffalo

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Just got off the phone with Chris Butler, who was traded by Buffalo to Calgary as part of the deal for Robyn Regehr. The audio of Butler's farewell to Buffalo is below.

---John Vogl

Devine wraps up the Sabres' draft

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Kevin Devine, the Sabres' director of amateur scouting, wrapped up the draft with a chat. He said the team's second-day highlight is the selection of Daniel Catenacci in the third round, a forward they had pegged as a second-round talent.

The audio of Devine's chat is below, as is the interview with seventh-round pick Brad Navin.

---John Vogl

 

Kevin Devine

Brad Navin

Jacobs happy '99 Cup win made hockey boom in Dallas

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Colin Jacobs, the Sabres' fourth-round draft pick and a Texas native, credits Dallas' 1999 Stanley Cup win over Buffalo for getting him into hockey. Although he's now on the Sabres, he's still glad it happened.

The audio of his chat his below.

---John Vogl

Video of Sabres' fourth-round pick

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The NHL has video of the Sabres' fourth-round pick, Colin Jacobs. The Texas native, who got interested in hockey after Dallas beat Buffalo in the 1999 Stanley Cup final, was the 61st-ranked skater according to NHL Central Scouting.

---John Vogl

Clendening heading to Chicago

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Adam Clendening hoped to hear his name called in the first round. When the Niagara Falls' defenseman fell to the second round, he just wanted to hear it soon. Chicago obliged, picking him sixth.

He is a power-play specialist, and with the Blackhawks' trade of Brian Campbell, Clendening is hopeful he can compete for a job.

The audio of his chat is below.

---John Vogl

Catenacci has a new favorite team: Buffalo

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Daniel Catenacci grew up in the Toronto area watching the Maple Leafs. After watching Sidney Crosby, he switched his allegiance to the Pittsburgh Penguins. After hearing the Sabres call his name in the third round, he's got a new favorite team.

Catenacci, a center from Sault St. Marie of the OHL, is the newest member of the Sabres' organization aftr getting picked in the third round. The 37th-ranked North American skater according to NHL Central Scouting had first-round hopes, but he's fine just getting a chance to compete with the Sabres.

Catenacci had 26 goals and 71 points in 67 games last season. He won the Fastest Skater Competition at the 2011 Top Prospects game with a lap of 14.017 seconds.

The audio of his chat is below.

---John Vogl

Video of Sabres' third-round pick

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The NHL has a video of the Sabres' third-round pick, Daniel Catenacci. Here it is.

---John Vogl

Campbell brings Cup dreams to Florida

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Brian Campbell was one of the first pieces of the Stanley Cup puzzle in Chicago. The former Sabres defenseman feels he can be that again in Florida.

Campbell, acquired for forward Rostislac Olesz, thinks he can turn the Panthers into contenders.

"Success is going to come quick," Campbell said by phone. "I think it came a lot quicker than everybody expected in Chicago, and it’s going to happen again in Florida. I can share those experiences for young players to get ready and be prepared because it’s going to happen a lot sooner than a lot of people think."

The complete audio of his chat is below.

---John Vogl

Regier talks about Regehr, Kotalik

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Sabres pushed hard to convince Robyn Regehr to come to Buffalo, with Darcy Regier and Terry Pegula making strong sales pitches. It worked.

Regehr has been acquired along with former Sabres forward Ales Kotalik and a second-round pick in the 2012 NHL entry draft in exchange for defenseman Chris Butler and center Paul Byron. Regier thinks Kotalik, who bounced between the Flames and the AHL, is still an NHL player and will compete for a spot on the Sabres' roster.

Regier said he has no plans to buy out Kotalik or any other Sabres player. The audio of his chat is below.

---John Vogl

Sabres' trade for Regehr is official (includes correction)

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The trade is finally official. The Sabres have acquired defenseman Robyn Regehr, forward Ales Kotalik, the former Buffalo forward, and the Flames' second-round pick in the 2012 draft in exchange for defenseman Chris Butler and forward prospect Paul Byron.

We will have more on our Live from Day Two blog.

---John Vogl

Live from Day Two of the NHL draft

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Greetings from Xcel Energy Center, where it's Day Two of the NHL draft. The Sabres said the trade of Robyn Regehr to Buffalo has not been registered yet with the NHL. When it is, we'll let you know.

Just got off the phone with Brian Campbell, who was dealt to Florida. He seems excited about the opportunity to help rebuild the Panthers in the same way he helped Chicago build toward a Stanley Cup. The audio of the chat will be up shortly.

The second round starts in a few minutes. The Sabres do not have a second-round pick, but Kevin Devine, the director of amateur scouting, was hopeful they could get one.

Stay here for updates throughout rounds two through seven.

11:13 a.m.: THE TRADE HAS BEEN MADE OFFICIAL. The Sabres send Paul Byron and Chris Butler to Calgary for Robyn Regehr, Ales Kotalik and the Flames' second-round pick today in 2012, which will be either No. 45 or 57.

11:17 a.m.: This is my fourth straight draft, but I'd forgotten how fast picks fly on the second day. They have already made six in about six minutes.

11:18 a.m.: Niagara Falls' Adam Clendening gets selected by the Chicago Blackhawks with the 36th overall pick. Clendending is here, and we'll have a chat with him.

11:40 a.m.: Correction: The Sabres will receive the Flames' second-round pick in 2012, not today. Just talked with Clendening and Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier. I'll have their audio up shortly.

11:42 a.m.: Alexander Ruuttu, the son of former Sabres forward Christian, has been selected 51st overall by Phoenix.

11:46 a.m.: Sabres owner Terry Pegula and coach Lindy Ruff have flown to visit Regehr at his home to welcome him to the organization.

11:56 a.m.: The audio of Darcy Regier's chat is up.

11:57 a.m.: Just talked with Jay Feaster, the Flames' GM. He says the move brings much-needed salary cap relief to his team, and he also feels Chris Butler will step in and play while Byron will contend for a spot.

12:02 p.m.: The audio of the Brian Campbell chat is up.

12:07 p.m.: The Sabres have selected Daniel Catenacci with their third-round pick, 77th overall. The center was the 37th-ranked North American skater.

12:31 p.m.: The audio of Catenacci's chat is up.

12:32 p.m.: The draft is now into the third pick of the fourth round. The Sabres have the 16th.

12:40 p.m.: The audio of Clendening's chat is up. It seems like forever since I talked to him. A trade on Day Two changes the dynamics of the morning for sure.

12:44 p.m.: The Sabres are up.

12:46 p.m.: The Sabres select Colin Jacobs.

1:10 p.m.: The audio and video of Colin Jacobs is up.

1:11 p.m.: The draft is flying. The Sabres are almost up in Round Five.

1:16 p.m.: The Sabres select Alex Lepkowski, a defenseman from West Seneca.

1:24 p.m.: Lepkowski is a 6-foot-4, 212-pound defenseman who plays for Barrie of the OHL. He was not ranked by Central Scouting, but Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com alerted me to him last week.

1:40 p.m.: The Sabres are on the clock.

1:42 p.m.: Buffalo makes Nathan Lieuwen, a goalie from Kootenay who played with prospect Brayden McNabb, its sixth-round selection.

1:55 p.m.: The Vancouver Canucks are getting heckled badly, and they have been throughout the draft. They're up in the sixth round, and a few folks are loudly yelling to their table that they need a new goalie.

2:02 p.m.: Colorado selects Dillon Donnelly, son of Gord, with the second pick in the seventh round.

2:12 p.m.: Just got off the phone with Alex Lepkowski. Obviously, he said the day couldn't have gone better to be drafted by his hometown team.

2:16 p.m.: The Sabres select, with their final pick, Brad Navin, a Wisconsin high school kid ranked No. 163. He is here at the draft.

2:19 p.m., Well, got plenty of interviews to transcribe and stories to write, so that'll do it. Thanks for reading!

---John Vogl

Regehr waives his no-move clause, is coming to Buffalo

MINNEAPOLIS -- Robyn Regehr has thought it over, and he's coming to Buffalo.

The Calgary defenseman has decided to waive his no-movement clause and will accept a trade to Buffalo.

"Options changed and yes I did waive. I'm going to Buffalo," Regehr said in a text to the Calgary Sun. "I have to talk to a bunch of family."

TSN reports the deal includes former Sabres forward Ales Kotalik also coming to Buffalo in exchange for defenseman Chris Butler and forward Paul Byron.

 ---John Vogl

TSN reports Regehr waives no-trade clause to join Sabres

TSN is reporting that Calgary Flames defenseman Robyn Regehr has agreed to waive his no-trade clause in order to join the Sabres.

Flames' GM: Regehr deal still possible

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- I just caught up with Calgary General Manager Jay Feaster for an exclusive chat, and he said the trade of Robyn Regehr to Buffalo is still a possibility despite the defenseman's refusal to waive his no-movement clause.

"We’ll certainly continue to talk," Feaster said. "I think it’s one of those things where it’s a shock when the player is asked. It’s a case where he was hoping there was things he could consider as opposed to my going to him and saying, 'This is the deal I would have accepted.’

"Quite frankly, this is the best deal from our perspective. I think it just takes a little bit of time to think about those issues."

Like the Sabres, Calgary can wait for Regehr to change his mind.

"It’s not a deal that is draft driven or draft dependent," Feaster said.

---John Vogl

Devine: Looking for a second-rounder, forwards on Day Two

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Kevin Devine, the Sabres' director of amateur scouting, was visibly pleased to land Joel Armia. He also would be pleased to add a second-round pick Saturday and a few centers. The audio of his chat is below.

---John Vogl

Regier: Regehr still an option for Sabres

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Darcy Regier said Robyn Regehr is still an option for the Sabres. The audio of the Sabres' GM's chat is below.

---John Vogl

Armia, Sabres' top pick, ready to score goals

ST. PAUL, Minn. –- English is definitely the second language for Joel Armia, but the Finnish right winger had no problem saying what he likes to do.

"Score goals," Armia said tonight after the Buffalo Sabres made him their first-round selection in the 2011 NHL entry draft.

Armia, a 6-foot-3, 191-pounder who just turned 18 last month, became the first European selected by the Sabres since they picked defenseman Dennis Persson and goaltender Jhonas Enroth in 2006. Based on Armia’s ranking, the Sabres had little choice.

NHL Central Scouting selected Armia as the fourth-ranked European skater in its final poll. He was second in the midterm rankings, a high number for a Buffalo team that picked 16th overall.

"He's big and tall but surprisingly mobile for a player of his size," said Goran Stubb, the NHL’s director of European scouting. "He has a heavy wrist shot that he gets off quickly and is always looking for the empty spots on the ice. He's a sniper with a good selection of shots. You might have to look for him during some shifts, but then, suddenly, he scores the winner."

Folks in Buffalo who paid attention to the world junior championships might remember Armia. He played for Finland, recording one assist as the second-youngest player on the team.

"It was nice," Armia said. "I liked the place. I think I played good."

Armia plays in Finland’s top professional league. He had 18 goals and 29 points in 48 games with Assat, a quality rookie season that went better than he expected.

"Playing with men, they know what they are doing. That helps a lot," Armia said.

"The thing I like about Joel is he's very humble," Assat coach Pekka Rautakallio said. "He wants to know what I expect and he's willing and ready to execute it. That tells me he really wants to learn how to play, how to be a better hockey player."

Armia has been compared to Finnish legend Teemu Selanne, though he’s not as quick as the fellow sniper. Armia said he needs to improve his skating and get stronger.

He also said he had a feeling the Sabres might pick him after having a couple of chats with the team.

"They were nice people," he said.

Armia excelled during a tournament featuring players his own age. At the 2011 under-18 world championships, he led Finland and tied for third overall with 13 points, scoring four goals in six games.

It makes sense since, as he said, scoring is what he does best. The audio of Armia's chat is below.

---John Vogl

Live from the NHL draft

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The draft floor is almost full in Xcel Energy Center, and that includes the Sabres' table. I can see Kevin Devine, director of amateur scouting, and his scouts. I see owner Terry Pegula's youngest son, clad in a white Sabres jersey with "Pegula" on the back.

Haven't seen Pegula or Ted Black yet, but I'm sure they're around.

This will be a running blog through the night, with updates on picks, trades and rumors. There will also be links to audio from the Sabres' pick and management, provided they chat tonight. They usually do, but it's been a weird month with them, so who knows.

No matter what, this will be the place to be.

6 p.m.: See, it took just two minutes for the next update. Just wanted to say the huge draft board has has large circle in the top right corner with the letters "EJ" inside, honoring late Buffalo native EJ McGuire, the head of NHL Central Scouting who died of cancer in April.

6:08 p.m.: The Toronto Maple Leafs have added former Sabres coach Rick Dudley for their front office. (I saw him dragging his suitcase to the Marriott City Center check-in desk this afternoon.) Also, the Avalanche have sent defenceman John-Michael Liles to the Maple Leafs in exchange for Toronto's second-round draft pick in 2012.

6:21 p.m.: The Maine Hockey Journal has audio of the Portland Pirates' news conference today in which they discussed the Sabres' purchase of the Rochester Americans.

6:24 p.m.: Calgary radio station Fan 960 reports Robyn Regehr has declined to waive his no-trade clause to come to Buffalo.

6:50 p.m.: A source says Regehr may be having second thoughts about saying no. He is said to be interested in what other offers are out there, but none match what Buffalo has offered from Calgary's perspective. It's not over yet.

6:55 p.m.: There is a very small crowd assembled so far. This is my fourth straight draft, and there were full houses in Montreal and Ottawa, and a good crowd in L.A. for the first round. Even L.A. is putting the "State of Hockey" to shame at the moment.

7:08 p.m.: Don't you love when events that are supposed to start at 7 don't even remotely come close to that. They said first pick will be around 7:15.

7:09 p.m.: The way the draft works is the teams are on the floor from about blue line to blue line. A media riser is on the end across from the draft board. There is a fence separating the media from the teams, and the GMs or coaches always come to the fence to give updates prior to the draft. The reason you don't have an update from the Sabres is they broke from that "always," declining to talk to me or Paul Hamilton until after they pick.

I hope this code of silence ends soon. It'll be something traveling through Europe with a team that doesn't talk.

7:23 p.m.: Quality, quality moment prior to Edmonton making Ryan Nugent-Hopkins the first pick of the 2011 draft. The family of McGuire, his wife, Terry, and their daughters, Jacqueline and Erin, came on stage to a standing ovation. Terry is the sister of Sabres equipment manager Rip Simonick.

7:29 p.m.: Colorado has selected Gabriel Landeskog as the second overall pick. Profiles can be seen here, though I'll link to the Sabres' pick.

7:43 p.m.: While I was down at the Nugent-Hopkins interview, the Panthers selected Jonathan Huberdeau with the third pick. It was interesting to see Nugent-Hopkins with a No. 11 Oilers jersey. Two obvious things: 1. It was to symbolize the year. B. He won't be keeping the number because a guy named Mark Messier used to wear it.

7:47 p.m.: New Jersey, which has to give up a first-round pick at some point because of the Ilya Kovalchuk debacle, obviously kept this year's because it's No. 4. They pick Adam Larsson.

7:53 p.m.: The Islanders pick Ryan Strome with the fifth pick. They thanked the "10,000 fans" watching in Nassau Coliseum. Yeah, I'm not buying that. Who would go to that dump instead of a bar?

7:58 p.m.: The Senators waste little time on stage and select Mika Zibanejad.

8 p.m.: Minnesota resident Thomas Vanek has joined the Sabres' table and is chatting with Darcy Regier, Black and Pegula.

8:01 p.m.: Drew Stafford has now joined the chat.

8:06 p.m.: There are a lot of Winnipeg Jets fans here. They are screaming and chanting, including a shout of "Gary, Gary" for Commissioner Gary Bettman. The Commish, who is usually booed at all events, can only smile and shrug.

8:10 p.m.: The Jets formally announce their name and then select Mark Scheifele. Polite applause for someone expected to be done in the Sabres' 16 range.

8:19 p.m.: The Flyers select Sean Couturier, a talented, talented forward.

8:26 p.m.: The Stanley Cup winning Bruins select Dougie Hamilton, just the second defenseman in the first nine picks.

8:31 p.m.: The Xcel Energy Center is at its loudest with the host Wild on the clock.

8:31 p.m.: Ted Black, I've noticed, isn't much of a sitter. He keeps standing up to chat and look around.

8:32 p.m.: I'd prefer it if he came over to the fence to chat with me about Rochester, like I requested.

8:34 p.m.: The Wild commit a major mistake by not thanking their fans for coming, then they select Jonas Brodin.

8:39 p.m.: Colorado selects Duncan Siemens at No. 11, leaving five picks until the Sabres.

8:43 p.m.: I think it would be interesting if the Sabres took Jamie Oleksiak. Can you imagine a blue-line pairing of a 6-foot-8 Tyler Myers next to a 6-7 guy?

8:45 p.m.: Carolina takes Ryan Murphy at 12.

8:51 p.m. The Flames take Sven Baertschi.

9 p.m.: So much for that. Dallas takes Oleksiak. He is one big kid.

9:04 p.m.: The Calgary Sun has caught up with Regehr: "Darcy Regier has been fantastic," Regehr told the newspaper. "We need to explore all our options. It sounds like Buffalo is great ... but until we see what’s all out there, we can’t make a real good informed decision that we’re comfortable with."

9:08 p.m.: Aaron Boogaard, the brother of the late Derek Boogaard, gets a standing ovation from the fans of his brother's former team. He then selects Jonathan Miller for the Rangers. The Sabres are on the clock.

9:11 p.m.: No surprise, Ted Black is standing as the Sabres get ready.

9:13 p.m.: Pegula pays tribute to Rick Marting, then makes the pick and selects Joel Armia.

9:15 p.m.: Armia is the first European selected by the Sabres since 2006.

10:08 p.m.: The Armia story is up, with a chat with Darcy Regier coming momentarily.

10:09 p.m.: And the Regier audio is up.

10:20 p.m.: The Sabres signed minor-league goaltender David Leggio to a new contract.

10:59 p.m.: Just got done talking with Kevin Devine, the Sabres' director of amateur scouting. Audio will be up momentarily. We're still waiting to see if we get Ted Black, who is still standing ... but not at the fence.

11:03 p.m.: Brian Campbell has reportedly agreed to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Florida Panthers. he helped rebuild the Blackhawks, and I expect the same in Florida.

11:11 p.m.: Well, Black declined comment, saying the team wanted to do everything next week in Rochester. It will likely be Wednesday. The audio of Devine's chat is up. And the first round is over, so that is it from St. Paul till Saturday morning.

Good night, and thanks for reading.

---John Vogl

Draft time approaches

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Greetings from the palace known as Xcel Energy Center, one of the finest buildings in North America. It's less than two hours to draft time.

We're in our seat (fourth row of the media riser, next to the Boston Herald and the Canadian Press), but the Sabres have yet to arrive on the arena floor. They are one of the few teams that chose to stay in St. Paul rather than Minneapolis, so traffic shouldn't delay them.

Here's a look at the arena and the interview area.

---John Vogl

Floor
Room

Jets to land, Amerks will soon

MINNEAPOLIS -- Greetings from sunny Minneapolis, where the locals take advantage of the sunshine by crowding the streets and the food trucks. It's a mob scene out there.

Just finished with a lengthy but productive meeting of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, but here are a few quick updates:

*Stay with BuffaloNews.com for an announcement that Buffalo is reuniting with Rochester, as alluded to in this morning's story.

*The new team in Winnipeg is expected to announce its nickname as the Jets tonight.

*Tampa Bay defenceman Eric Brewer has agreed to a four-year deal that will pay him just under $16 million.

---John Vogl

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | jvogl@buffnews.com

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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