The Sabres were supposed to play their fifth preseason game tonight, an exhibition in Columbus against the Blue Jackets. Because a bunch of rich guys can't figure out how to split $3.3 billion per year, the game has been canceled.
That unfortunately brings us to our fifth edition of: Who is hurting tonight because of the lockout?
*It's the guys who were supposed to work the huge grill at bd's Mongolian Grill across from Nationwide Arena, but some aren't on the schedule because there's no game-night crowd coming.
*It's the waitress at Schmidt's Sausage Haus who won't get extra tips from Buffalo customers who made the drive to Columbus.
"We’ve taken a step that has put us in a little
bit of a scary category because we’re young there," Ruff said.
It sounds as if the Sabres will go "center by committee" to help their 22-year-old middle men.
"I think there’s where we have a little
versatility with Ville [Leino]. We’ve got some versatility with Steve Ott in the middle
of the ice," said Ruff, who was OK with giving up Derek Roy's skill in exchange for Ott's grittiness. "You can say the emergence of Tyler playing center ice
probably made the move possible, with Cody looking to be right in there in a
1-2 spot and Tyler the way he played trying to get him that same type of ice
time, and Ott playing on the third line or in that situation, or even playing in
our top two lines as being a grittier-type winger or centerman.
"We know we’re
going to need a guy on faceoffs and [Ott is] excellent in faceoffs, he can play the
middle so it gives us a little bit different look."
Ruff likes what Ott brings to the club, one season after the Sabres were humiliated by Milan Lucic and the Bruins.
"It’s something that you talk about during the
year when you’re going through tough times, what you think is missing. It isn’t
something you just all of sudden go to somebody in the offseason," Ruff said. "We should be a lot tougher
team, a lot more irritating team to play against. I think that message has been
Thomas Vanek has been torn about whether to play overseas during the NHL lockout. With a wife and three young kids at home, he doesn't want to disrupt his family life by bolting for Europe. On the other hand, he's a hockey player and wants to play.
He's said for several weeks that if he went to Europe it would likely be to his native Austria. Apparently, he's made up his mind. He's going to play in Austria.
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, 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.
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.