Tyler Myers' return to the Sabres' lineup Wednesday was highlighted by two goals. The lowlights included a 5-3 loss to New Jersey and a hit on Dainius Zubrus that could get the attention of the NHL.
Myers and Zubrus, the former Sabres forward who was playing his 1,000th game, chased a loose puck along the boards midway through the second period. Zubrus stretched to reach the puck, and Myers’ check went to the head of the hunched-over player.
"I didn't like the look of it," New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer said. "It looked to me like one of the head shots they are trying to get out of the game."
Zubrus required medical attention but stayed in the game.
"I understand why the receiving team would be upset with a hit like that," Myers said. "I didn’t intend to injure him. I think it was just one of those where he had the mind-set of playing the puck and I had the mind-set of playing the body. I don’t think he was ready for it. I caught him pretty good. Obviously, it’s good to see him bounce back with no serious injury."
The benching of Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers lasted just one game. Myers, scratched from Monday's 3-2 shootout victory in Montreal, will be back in the lineup tonight when Buffalo hosts New Jersey.
Myers, who was minus-6 in his previous four games, has no goals, four assists and numerous turnovers during his 16 games this season.
"The history of young players is they go through tough stretches," coach Lindy Ruff said after an optional morning skate in First Niagara Center. "He's had some good games, but recently a couple that we'd like to improve on."
Marc-Andre Gragnani will sit in Myers' place, the second time this season he's been scratched. Mike Weber, who played well in Monday's victory, will remain in the lineup and play his third game.
The Sabres have recalled right wing Corey Tropp from Rochester to replace injured forward Cody McCormick. It's the second recall for Tropp, who had a goal and assist in four games while Patrick Kaleta was serving a suspension. McCormick was injured Monday.
Jhonas Enroth will be in net against New Jersey, which sustained a 4-3 loss to Boston on Tuesday night.
Ryan Miller, lip quivering while he talked for nearly 10 minutes today, said he's suffering from headaches and whiplash following the hit from Boston's Milan Lucic on Saturday. The Sabres' goaltender has no timetable for a return to the crease.
"I’m not as well as I’d like to be, but considering, I feel alright," Miller said during a surprise appearance in the First Niagara Center dressing room. "My neck is pretty sore. I’m trying to figure out if that’s more of a source of headaches or if what I’m really feeling was my head really started hurting.
"You always are concerned. Last year I thought I had a very simple ‘get your bell rung,’ and I missed five games. This, I don’t know how to put a timeline on it, but I am encouraged that my neck feels better. Once that really feels good, I can start to make my way back."
Miller is disappointed the NHL decided not to issue supplemental discipline to Lucic for the blast, and he's also unhappy with Boston's comments that the forceful collision might not even be the source of his ailment. He has no doubt the hit is the reason for his concussion symptoms.
"We decided to talk more freely about it because there was a reason to with the incident with Lucic and the league needed to make some kind of judgment," Miller said. "It didn’t quite work out the way we thought it could. I’m definitely disappointed in that.
"The one thing I was disappointed with the assessment or what came out of Boston and some of what came out of the league was it wasn’t a head shot, so that was their conclusion to why the concussion maybe didn’t come from that. I didn’t know they were all doctors. Concussions are caused by many things, one of them including a whiplash motion that sends your brain moving laterally or however you’re hit. It doesn’t need to be a direct impact. That fact alone, I’m rolling my eyes."
The goalie is convinced his teammates have his back and is disturbed the topic has even been broached (despite the Sabres' lack of response to the hit). He says he didn't expect a full donnybrook on his behalf, and he appreciates their words the past couple of days when they said they wish they would have done more.
"I’ve been told a lot’s been said about it," Miller said, "and you know what? These guys have my back. I was disappointed in the direction that started to take where people were talking about how these guys don’t have my back. My whole job is to try and help these guys and be there for them, and they’re there for me. I was just really disappointed in the direction that started to take.
"I’ve been with a lot of these guys a really long time. For one incident and one tough stretch of hockey to start to become what it was I think is unfair to me and I think it’s unfair to the guys in here. You guys aren’t in the locker room. You guys don’t know what’s going on. We allow you in here for these interviews, and we don’t conduct ourselves the same way as we do with each other.
"I appreciate that they wanted to do more. But I mean, what can you really do? You’re going to get a suspension yourself? Lucic is a tough guy. What are you going to do? Hack him? Spear him? Cheap-shot him? Then you’re not better than he is."
MONTREAL -- This is one of those nights we could have used about five Sabres stories. There was the Tyler Myers scratch and Lindy Ruff popping off in the morning, the NHL deciding not to suspend Milan Lucic in the afternoon, Brendan Shanahan ripping Ruff at the Hockey Hall of Fame ceremony in the evening. And then you had to ask the Sabres and Ruff about the Lucic situation after the game again.
Oh yeah, there was a game? Easy to forget. And a big one too.
The Sabres rallied for a 3-2 shootout victory over Montreal, getting third-period goals from Jason Pominville and Derek Roy to wipe out a 2-0 deficit and shootout goals from Thomas Vanek and Brad Boyes. Buffalo was 2 for 2 in the shootout while Montreal was just 1 of 3 against Jhonas Enroth, who improved to 6-0 this year.
(While you're getting smoked on deadline, I completely braincramped that the shootout was over until I saw the Sabres jump the boards. They had only taken two shots! Anyway).
The Sabres weren't great through two periods. Pretty blah performance. Not terrible by any stretch but not nearly good enough either. When Ruff switched Derek Roy and Luke Adam as centers on the top two lines, it made a huge difference. Here's some thoughts in no real order.
Roy-Vanek-Pominville: Ruff went to it to get something going. Good call. He always has it at his disposal. He went to three lines in the third period with Cody McCormick ill. Ruff said he might keep it. Of course, with him that means for a period.
Enroth: The kid is killer in shootouts (and a killer for reporters looking for quotes -- doesn't offer much, but he can sure stop pucks). Said Ruff: "He doesn't look big back there but somehow he stops them in shootouts. He's cool."
Defense: The Sabres killed off an overtime power play. Underrated aspect of Patrick Kaleta's suspension is how good he's been on the PK. And the line of Nathan Gerbe-Paul Gaustad and Kaleta had some nice physical play. But Gaustad took three bad penalties and might hear from Brendan Shanahan himself for his third period high stick to the face of a Montreal's Alexei Emelin. Wouldn't THAT be ironic?
Myers scratched: The Sabres won. Mike Weber was pretty good, especially in the physical department. Let's see if Myers stays in the press box Wednesday against New Jersey.
Dealing with the media mob: The Sabres were excellent today. There's not many times in their careers in the regular season -- in November no less -- the locker room will be the circus that it was. There wasn't a tent big enough to cover it. Probably three dozen folks or so in a very small space. On a lot of road games, it's just me or John Vogl, Paul Hamilton of WGR and a guy or two from Sabres.com. Not today. But the players dealt with it professionally and didn't let it become a total distraction.
The NHL's decision: Are you serious? That's a joke. Memo to Shanahan: Ruff is right. It is open season on goalies now. Former ref Kerry Fraser sure thinks so. He ripped Shanahan tonight on TSN.
Moving forward: It's not going to be easy. Questions about toughness will linger. The buildup to the Boston game Nov. 23 will be immense because the Sabres don't play the previous three days. And the NHL will be watching closely.
John Vogl will pick up practice tomorrow heading into the New Jersey game. Here's some audio to listen to after tonight's win.
MONTREAL -- This just in from the NHL's Toronto headquarters: Milan Lucic has escaped his league hearing with no suspension. Here's the NHL.com story detailing the thoughts of NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan, who spoke to Lucic today via conference call.
In essence, Shanahan said he could not determine an elevated level of intent on Lucic's part and that the Bruins' player was properly penalized for charging.
"The minor penalty called on the ice was the correct call," Shanahan said. "And, while it's unfortunate that Miller was hurt I saw nothing egregious about this hit that would elevate it to supplemental discipline."
There is no immediate comment from the Sabres. In situations like this, GM Darcy Regier usually speaks to the media between periods of that night's game. But you know how the Sabres feel. Remember what Lindy Ruff said this morning?
"If [Lucic] isn't suspended, it just means teams will be able to do exactly what Lucic did," Ruff said. "Their goaltender can play the puck, we can run him over. We can hurt him and all you get is a two-minute minor penalty. That's essentially what that means. You can concuss the other team's goaltender. You can run him going at whatever speed he was going. He made no attempt to get out of the way. It means it's fair game on goaltenders."
So the message is clear in the wake of Lucic's escape: If your goalie is hit, take care of it yourselves. The Sabres should have done that Saturday. They'll meet the Bruins again Nov. 23. That should be interesting.
1) "There shouldn't be game plans to run goaltenders over. I'm all for that. To say you put traffic in front of him is one thing. To run him over, I disagree with that. So again, it just kind of reinforces that it certainly wasn't meant to happen that way."
2). On why Miller played another period after the hit: "With the new protocol and the concussion stuff, I know the last three NHLPA meetings that I've been part of, they've clarified about concussions and head injuries, the main thing that they talked about is there's no such thing as getting your bell rung or seeing stars anymore. That's considered a concussion. And if you're in that position, you have to do whatever you can to take yourself out of play. And obviously, Ryan plays a big part in the NHLPA and what he does, and I respect him what he does there. That's pretty much it."
(It should be noted the Bruins' team doctors ruled Miller out after the SECOND period).
3). The Bruins remain skeptical Miller got a concussion on the hit. Said Lucic: "I've looked at it and his shoulder hit my chest, so there was no hit to his head. His helmet came flying off, but his head didn’t hit the ice."
MONTREAL -- While there was plenty of talk in the Sabres' dressing room this morning about Ryan Miller and Milan Lucic, a much bigger piece of news was emerging on the ice.
Tyler Myers was still out there skating with the assistant coaches and the injured Tyler Ennis and Jochen Hecht. Thus, Myers -- who is minus-6 over his last four games and was one of the do-nothings on the ice when Lucic bowled over Miller -- is going to be a healthy scratch tonight for the first time in his career.
Outsiders might call it a stunning thing to do to the 21-year-old Myers, a former Calder Trophy winner and a guy who has a seven-year, $38.5 million contract in hand that kicks in next season. But it's no surprise to regular Sabres watchers: Myers was minus-3 on Saturday, with several brutal plays resulting in Boston goals.
"The way I've been playing in the last three of four games, it's not good," Myers said. "It's not good enough for me. I have to be better. I know that the coaches know that. Until I do, stuff like this is going to happen.
"I think there's a lot of good but there's those one or two bad mistakes I have to eliminate from my game. This is just one step -- get pissed off and come out next game and start playing the way I know I can. To do that, playing a lot more physical will help my game."
Myers wasn't physical when Miller was bowled over Saturday and knows that was a mistake.
"Definitely," he said. "We've talked about it as a team. It's definitely got to be a lot more aggressive than what it was. We all know. We've had discussions as a team. That's got to be different."
Lindy Ruff played coy on Myers, refusing to admit he was out but acknowledging Myers' decisions have to be better. Ruff blew off reporters Sunday but met a gaggle of media this morning -- even joking, "it's nice to see you guys again" when it was all over. But he still wasn't happy about Lucic when I asked if he feels the NHL's ruling today has to be a suspension of the Boston forward.
"If he isn't suspended, it just means teams will be able to do exactly what Lucic did," Ruff said. "Their goaltender can play the puck, we can run him over. We can hurt him and all you get is a two-minute minor penalty. That's essentially what that means. You can concuss the other team's goaltender. You can run him going at whatever speed he was going. He made no attempt to get out of the way. It means it's fair game on goaltenders."
Ruff said there's no timetable on Miller and that his goalie "doesn't feel good." He said Miller just feels "OK."
Here's audio from today's morning skate from Ruff, Myers, Jhonas Enroth and captain Jason Pominville:
MONTREAL — Defenseman Tyler Myers will be a healthy scratch for the Sabres tonight against the Canadiens in the Bell Centre.
It will be the first time Myers has been a healthy scratch in his three-year career.
Myers was in the group of players that did not respond when Milan Lucic ran over Ryan Miller on Saturday night, but Myers' recent struggles on the blue line are the bigger reason he is not playing tonight.
MONTREAL -- Darcy Regier wanted to collect his thoughts and declined comment after the Sabres' meeting today in the Bell Centre. He had plenty to say this evening in a telephone conversation with The Buffalo News.
The biggest piece of news is this: Ryan Miller has a concussion and is out of the lineup for an undetermined length of time.
Miller felt increasingly worse during Saturday's game in Boston after the hit by Milan Lucic and was removed from the game following the second period by Bruins doctors under the NHL's head injury protocol. Drew MacIntyre has been called up from Rochester and will back up Jhonas Enroth Monday night in Montreal.
As of 7:15 this evening, Regier said reports there will be no suspension are incorrect because he has been told the league has made no ruling. He said he firmly believes Milan Lucic should pay a price for the hit.
"If this hit and other types of hits like this are not suspended, we are opening up the possibility of losing goaltenders to injury," Regier said sternly. "And not just injury, but concussion. ... When i look at the position of goaltending. in a lot of ways it's not unlike quarterback in football. I feel very strongly the protection has to be provided and players committing these types of action should be punished.
"The last thing we need to do in the NHL is to be losing our stars to concussions on plays like this."
Regier said Miller will not be dressing Monday night and Drew MacIntyre will back up Enroth.
"Hopefully it is not severe and hopefully it is not longterm," Regier said ominously, although he later said Miller was feeling better today.
What about his players' lack of protection of their No. 1 goalie? Regier was blunt about that too.
"You could go to each one of our players and they would tell you that they wished they had dealt with it differently," Regier said. "And they will deal with it differently in the future. ... We were all disappointed."
MONTREAL -- The Sabres have asked the NHL to review the Milan Lucic-Ryan Miller hit from Saturday night. As he was leaving the Bell Centre following today's team meeting, I approached GM Darcy Regier to talk about the events of last night and he shook his head negatively. I asked if he had nothing to say at all and he said politely, "Sorry, nothing."
(Update: Sabres spokesman Mike Gilbert clarified the original information he provided, saying teams do no request supplementary discipline reviews any longer and that the Sabres are simply awaiting to hear from the league any verdict on Lucic)
The Sabres did not skate today, with coach Lindy Ruff opting for a team meeting in the wake of the 6-2 loss. Only a few players (notably the likes of Mike Weber, Jochen Hecht and Tyler Ennis) went on the ice). Most went into a workout room.
There were understandably a lot of stern faces and Lindy Ruff was not pleased one iota. Told by team spokesman Mike Gilbert that reporters were waiting to speak to him, Ruff curtly responded, "[Bleep] the media" and stormed out of the building. Ruff is often touchy around reporters from Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa but on this day there were just four Buffalo people waiting (myself, Paul Hamilton from WGR, and Kevin Snow and Scott Miner from Sabres.com) and no one from Montreal. It will be a wee bit different tomorrow morning.
So with no Ruff, who handles injuries, there's no update on Ryan Miller's condition. The Sabres goalie was seen walking around in the dressing room hallway and was then in a training room receiving massages for what's believed to be a neck injury. The fact that he was seen and was up and about is a good sign that he may not be dealing with any concussion issues.
Miller, of course, went off on Lucic after the game. What did he think Sunday? Don't know. He sent word through Gilbert he wasn't talking either. The group got Robyn Regehr as he went to leave and I stopped Paul Gaustad, who said after the game he was embarrassed by the whole thing.
"I hoped I could have done more there," Gaustad said today. "It was something where I thought it was an illegal hit and today it's one of those things you take a look at how guys respond and how I responded and I can only look at myself and look myself in the mirror. I wasn't good enough as a player last night to help the team win."
Said Regehr: "You want to stick up for one another and be there for one another. Do I think we could have done a better job of that? Yeah. Yeah, I do."
EN ROUTE TO MONTREAL -- Greetings from JFK Airport as I await the flight to Montreal, where the Sabres have scheduled a noon meeting in the Bell Centre. Who wouldn't want to be a fly on the wall in that one after the stunning events of last night in Boston?
Well, it's long been an issue among their fan base, but the Sabres now have a full-blown issue as a weak team across the hockey world in the wake of last night's Milan Lucic-Ryan Miller dustup.
Read John Vogl's full recap from the Garden, which includes Miller's rant against Lucic -- and the Boston tough guy's pithy response that just about says it all: "We wouldn't accept anything like that. We would have [taken] care of business. But we're a different team than they are."
Obviously so. The Sabres are getting killed. Billy Jaffe on MSG Live out of New York called them "soft" last night. The Hockey Night in Canada Hot Stove crew of P.J. Stock and Mike Milbury was baffled by the lack of response and the headline from this New England Sports Network column says a a lot too: "Ryan Miller calls Milan Lucic gutless for hit on goalie but Sabres lack of response was truly gutless."
Judge for yourself.
Here's a snippet from NESN of Lucic with reporters. Look at the smirk at the beginning of the interview and the little smile and raised eyebrow at the end when asked if he was surprised there was no response.
I guess Paul Gaustad doesn't fight anymore. Even Lindy Ruff pointed out he was on the ice. Would you have thought differently about Tyler Myers' disastrous night if he had at least done something with Lucic? Probably.
So what should the Sabres have done? Well, this isn't old-time hockey. I realize that. But you still don't run the goalie like Lucic did. Yes, Miller was out to play the puck and was fair game (**I take back what I wrote in an airport at 7 a.m. he was fair game to a point when he had the puck..but Lucic still has to try to avoid contact. That was totally unnecessary). . But when was the last time you saw that? Lucic knew who was on the ice and knew he had few worries.
You want to see what USED to happen when you ran the goalie? Check out these dustups.
The Bruins didn't allow this stuff in the 70s (see Willi Plett and Gerry Cheevers) and the Sabres certainly got a pound of flesh in the 80s in Detroit after Tom Barrasso got run earlier in the game. Look how the Bruins and Red Wings answered. Compare that to last night. Nuff said.
Ryan Miller, injured during a collision with Boston's Milan Lucic, didn't play in the third period. However, he sat in the dressing room in a suit until the media arrived following Buffalo's 6-2 loss. He didn't want to talk about the injury, of course.
"I'm not really going to get into that," Miller said in TD Garden. "I just stuck around because I wanted to say what a piece of [feces] I think Lucic is. Fifty pounds on me, and he runs me like that? It's unbelievable. Everyone in this city see him as a big, tough, solid player. I respected him for how hard he plays. That was gutless. Gutless. Piece of [feces]."
The Sabres did not come to Miller's defense following the hit, other than a couple of shoves by Thomas Vanek and Andrej Sekera. Was it the response they needed?
"No, no it wasn't," said center Paul Gaustad, who was on the ice along with Vanek, Sekera, Tyler Myers and Jason Pominville. "I can do more. I'm embarrassed that we didn't respond the way we should have. It falls on myself. I look at myself first, and I wasn't good enough.
"We didn't push back. There's no reason to be scared. We had to go after it, and we didn't."
The Sabres have announced that Ryan Miller was the first goaltender off the ice at the team's morning skate in Boston, meaning he will start in goal against the Bruins, as expected.
Miller ended a four-game losing streak in his last outing, a 6-5 overtime win against Winnipeg on Tuesday. He has watched from the bench in the three of the last four games, all victories by Jhonas Enroth.
So why am quoting the Sabres instead of giving you the news myself with a Boston dateline? Because I'm still stuck in the Buffalo airport.
I arrived at 5:55 a.m. for the 7 a.m. flight, which was then delayed until 10 a.m. because of a repair to the door. After boarding at 10:30, we sat on the plane for more than an hour waiting for "paperwork" to be completed.
Just before noon, the airline -- which rhymes with GetYou (nowhere) -- announced we would need to deplane because they needed another part for the same door. So now we sit in the terminal, with no anticipated departure time.
I hope to make it to Beantown by the 7 p.m. puck drop. If not, buy me a drink at a bar somewhere because that's where I'll be headed straight from the Buffalo airport.
Some notes collected while sitting through Hour Two of the flight delay from Buffalo to Boston. Gotta love it ...
*The Sabres' prospects in Rochester have moved into first place in the AHL's Western Conference North Division following Friday's 3-1 victory over Binghamton. Zack Kassian had a goal and assist for the Amerks, and he leads the team with 12 points off six goals and six assists. Brayden McNabb and Derek Whitmore also scored, while Drew MacIntyre finished with 35 saves.
Paul Szczechura had two assists and has at least one point in all four games since his debut following an injury. He has a goal and five assists.
There's quite a lively discussion going on in the comments section on our Web site and on Twitter over Bucky Gleason's column today on Terry Pegula and Penn State. Large parts of it are fascinating to read. (By all means, keep commenting!)
I have received several dozen Twitter replies and emails myself asking why The News pressed the Sabres to have Pegula meet with the media, or at least give some thoughts, in the wake of the crisis at his alma mater. Pegula issued a three-paragraph statement on Penn State late Thursday afternoon in the wake of the firings of football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier on Wednesday night. The News has also requested comment from Sabres chief development officer Cliff Benson, but that request has not yet been filled.
Benson, a retired accountant, faciliated Pegula's $88 million gift to Penn State and is a former finance chair and current state board member of The Second Mile, the agency founded by disgraced Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. You would think he would have something to say too, sooner rather than later.
Anyone can have any opinion they want on Pegula's statement. But I am going to make this point loud and clear right now: It is time for readers to STOP BADGERING US WITH THE THEORY PEGULA GAVE HIS MONEY TO HOCKEY AND THUS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH FOOTBALL.
You are dead wrong. Did the capital letters make myself clear?
Pegula talked Penn State football with the media at the Sabres' opening press conference in September after he had attended the Penn State-Alabama game. Parts of the conversation made John Vogl's season preview story in our preview section. He is a devout Penn State FOOTBALL fan.
His gift was made at a press conference last year to Spanier, the deposed president, and he's obviously close to Tim Curley, the athletic director now accused of perjury in the case. Even if he hated football -- which he doesn't -- those facts alone make his opinion on the scandal highly relevant.
So Pegula obviously has a close relationship with the man who just replaced Joe Paterno. Anyone still want to say he has nothing to do with Penn State football?
So by all means, please leave any and all comments you want on Twitter, the blog, our stories, wherever. But stop saying Pegula has nothing to do with Penn State football so that's an excuse for him not to say anything about perhaps the worst scandal in the history of college sports. A scandal happening at his alma mater, where he ranks as the largest private donor in its history.
So what's up with Lindy Ruff going back to Jhonas Enroth over Ryan Miller tonight? Could you have ever imagined Miller NOT getting a start in a game after two days in a row off in recent years? No way.
But the proof is in the numbers and Ruff has to be playing his hunches here.
Enroth, remember, just beat the Senators last week in a shootout. And there's this: Miller is 13-15-2 vs. Ottawa in his career and 20-5-7 vs. Boston, where the Sabres play Saturday night. Ruff said today he's going back to his schedule, and that means neither guy is going to play both games in this back-to-back. So that makes it easier to see why Miller is going tomorrow, with Enroth playing tonight against Ottawa (the Sens are starting Craig Anderson).
Miller is 20-8-5 with a 2.29 GAA against the Habs in his career but he's just 8-9-4 against New Jersey, which comes to town Wednesday. Enroth has won his only start against both teams. Maybe it's Miller in Montreal and Enroth against the Devils but Miller certainly needs to have a good night in Boston; his goals-against average in the last five games is 4.10!
"We've put together a schedule," Ruff said after today's optional morning skate. "We have a busy one ahead of us and we're going to try to stick to it."
The Sabres went 5-1 against the Senators last year and won the first meeting this year after a brutal stretch dating to the lockout that included the loss in the 2007 Eastern Conference finals. What's changed?
"Those are always hard questions to answer," Ruff said. "It's the same question we tried to answer when we couldn't beat them. Somemtimes there's a little luck involved and you get rolling pretty good against a team. They rolled pretty good against us and then we've had our fair shake now."
What are the Los Angeles Dodgers doing on a hockey blog? Is my head still spinning from Game Six of the World Series in St. Louis? Nope. It's because there's a big connection between the bankrupt and for-sale Dodgers and the Sabres.
Guess who wants in as Dodgers owner? Yep. Tom Golisano.
You may remember he knows a thing or two about getting teams out of bankruptcy. He did that in 2003 with the Sabres, buying them for $92 million (and getting $25 million in loans eventually forgiven) -- and selling them to Terry Pegula in February for a whopping $189 million.
The Dodgers are being sold by Frank McCourt after they spun into chaos and divorce court as McCourt and his wife, Jamie, spent most of this season wrangling over control. Frank McCourt finally won that but he is selling.
The New York Times reported yesterday that Peter O'Malley would like to buy back the team he sold 13 years ago. As for Golisano, he told the paper in the same story, "I’ve been a baseball fan all my life. I played it for 44 years. Mickey Mantle was my hero. I went to several of [the Yankees'} World Series."
Golisano also spoke briefly this evening to the Wall Street Journal about the Dodgers and pointed out a high payroll isn't necessarily required in baseball given the fact neither the Rangers or Cardinals were in the top 10 this season. The Dodgers were actually 12th this season at $104 million -- more than double what Golisano ever had to pay in most seasons he owned the Sabres.
Therein lies the rub. Golisano insists he has enough wealth, even though some speculation has the Dodgers' purchase price pushing $1 billion. But sustaining those kind of payrolls every year? His history shows that would be a longshot.
Other rumored candidates include former Dodgers GM Fred Claire, a group that includes ex-players such as Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (who has already said the $1 billion price is too high) and perhaps Magic Johnson.
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.
Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, is in his sixth season covering the Buffalo Sabres. 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.