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NHL schedule release continues to hang on Olympic decision; Florida leak shows 20-day break

By Mike Harrington

If you're looking to mark your calendars for that visit by Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks or perhaps the return of Lindy Ruff with Dallas or Jason Pominville with Minnesota, you're going to have to wait at least another day.

The NHL's 2013-14 schedule, widely expected to be released late Wednesday afternoon, is not coming out even though all the teams have what is likely a final draft. The league cannot release the schedule until it wraps up a deal with the International Ice Hockey Federation to allow its players to compete in the Sochi Olympics.

The Olympics, of course, require a multi-week break in the schedule. Teams currently have two versions of the NHL slate, one with the Olympic break and one without it. Until the deal is signed, no schedule for the league can be released.

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Live from BB&T Center: Sabres at Panthers

Sabres-Panthers numerology

Fla arnea
The view from the [BN] seat at BB&T Center.

By Mike Harrington

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Empty arenas (above) and early edition stories get me poring through game notes so you get some extras prior to tonight's 7:30 start. Cheap plug: Be sure to come back for the live blog around faceoff time. Numbers to watch:

---Minus-39: The Panthers' NHL-worst goal differential. No one else is worse than minus-22.

---2: The number of Los Angeles Kings scouts listed on the press box roster, including assistant GM Ron Hextall (yep, the fighting ex-Flyers goalie). Bet they're watching more Sabres than Panthers.

---3: Number of goals the Panthers scored in losing the last three games. Of course, Tampa was on a three-game skid Tuesday and we know how that turned out.

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Live from First Niagara Center: Panthers at Sabres

With Grigorenko decision looming, fate decided for other junior eligibles

The Canadiens are keeping No. 3 overall pick Alex Galchenyuk. (Getty Images)

By Mike Harrington

The Sabres are still up in the air with Mikhail Grigorenko even though the decision to keep him in the NHL seems like a no-brainer from this view. He's talented, he's creative and he plays center -- an area this team is woefully thin at. You want to see Grigorenko or Matt Ellis? You want them to force Ville Leino back to center, as Lindy Ruff mused about today? Please.

Keep the kid.

Still, it's only been 50-50 among other NHL teams about keeping key junior eligibles or sending them back. Here's a quick rundown:

Continue reading "With Grigorenko decision looming, fate decided for other junior eligibles" »

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 |

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 |

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 |