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Sabres' Weber: 'Enough's enough. Joke's over'

By John Vogl

Mike Weber knows folks in Sabreland are tired of hearing false promises. The defenseman is tired of hearing them, too.

"We’re not joking around anymore," Weber said today as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers in First Niagara Center. "There has to be a new standard here. I know that word has been thrown around for a couple years here with talking to all of you guys – 'We’ve got to change the culture, we’ve got to change the standards' – but enough’s enough. Joke’s over.

"We’re not in this game to get high draft picks, at least I’m not. I know that’s not the goal for the front office, either. We’re in this to win championships and get things on the right track here."

The Sabres, who finished last in the NHL with a 21-51-10 record, have a lot of work to do. Weber says with new stability -- Tim Murray and Ted Nolan are in place as the general manager and coach, respectively -- the work can begin.

"I hope everyone takes it seriously," Weber said. "These types of things, they hurt. I think our fans have been very supportive, but at the same time you don’t want to disappoint people. You don’t want that feeling walking around town that you’ve disappointed people or you’re letting people down, especially a hard-working city like Buffalo.

"I think to every man, we’ve accepted the challenge. You have five and a half months here to get yourself ready for training camp, and I expect training camp to be what training camp should be for a 30th-place team. It should be hard. It should be intense. I know Teddy is making sure every guy knows that."

Sabres' John Scott would be fine with banning fighting in NHL -- staged fights, that is

By John Vogl

John Scott says no to fights every game. He thinks they're stupid, and he'd be fine if they were outlawed.

Staged fights, that is.

"The staged fighting, the fights that don’t really mean anything, I can do without those," the Sabres' enforcer told The News today. "I know I’ve been in a few of those in my career, but there’s a time and place for every fight. Sometimes they don’t really matter. I can see where the league is coming from and the fans are coming from."

Fighting has once again become a hotly debated topic around the NHL after bad injuries to the Sabres' Corey Tropp and Montreal's George Parros. Hockey legends such as Steve Yzerman and Scotty Bowman have said it's time for fighting to go.

Scott agrees with only part of it and says heat-of-the-moment battles still have a place.

Continue reading "Sabres' John Scott would be fine with banning fighting in NHL -- staged fights, that is" »

Weber signs three-year, $5 million contract with Sabres

By John Vogl

Mike Weber, who was set to become a restricted free agent July 5, has signed a three-year, $5 million contract with the Sabres.

Weber, who just finished a two-year deal that averaged $950,000 per season, will make $1.5 million in each of the next two years and $2 million in 2015-16.

There was no immediate word from the organization.

"Really excited to be staying in Buffalo for 3 more years," Weber wrote on Twitter, along with the hashtags "IsItOctoberYet" and "letgobuffalo." He then erased it.

The 25-year-old defenseman has spent parts of five seasons in Buffalo. He played 42 games last year, recording one goal, seven points and a plus-3 rating with 70 penalty minutes.

The 6-foot-2, 211-pounder was a healthy scratch to start the season but became one of the more dependable defenders by the end. Coach Ron Rolston continually praised his leadership.

Considered a strong point at start of season, Sabres' defense has been decimated

By John Vogl

The Sabres sent Adam Pardy to the minors at the start of the year after designating him as their ninth-best defenseman. He'll be in the top four Saturday when Buffalo hosts Philadelphia.

Trades and injuries, including today's announcement that Tyler Myers is done for the year after breaking a bone in his leg, have decimated a defense that was once considered a team strong point.

Only two of the six players who started on opening day are still available to play, Christian Ehrhoff and Andrej Sekera. Myers and Alexander Sulzer are out with injuries, and the team traded Jordan Leopold and Robyn Regehr. Mike Weber, a season-opening scratch, remains, while T.J. Brennan, who also started the season in the press box, was dealt to Florida for a fifth-round pick.

Continue reading "Considered a strong point at start of season, Sabres' defense has been decimated" »

Day off shelved, defense thin at practice

By Mike Harrington

The Sabres have hit the ice for practice in First Niagara Center -- a practice that was not on their schedule. The team had posted today as a day off and informed the media as such** but is now holding a normal workout.

(**We have inquired with the NHLPA about the practice. Under the new CBA, teams have to have two days off a month at home and two on the road and they must be planned in advance. They cannot be changed "absent compelling circumstances" and it's assumed that a mere slump like the 1-6-1 abyss the team is currently is would not qualify. Stay tuned for more on that.)

Robyn Regehr (ankle) skated on his own for about 20 minutes prior to the practice. Pat Kaleta is also back working out with the team as an extra forward. The injured Andrej Sekera and Christian Ehrhoff are not on the ice.

The one unexpected absentee is defenseman Mike Weber so there are only five D on the ice. We'll have to find out Weber's status after practice.

There's no change on the lines:

Vanek-Hodgson-Pominville
Foligno-Ennis-Stafford
Ott-Grigorenko-Hecht
Scott-McCormick-Gerbe
Ellis-Kaleta 

Day-after quick hits on troubling loss to Maple Leafs

GWG
Matt Frattin burns Jordan Leopold and Ryan Miller for the OT winner. (AP)

 

By Mike Harrington

The Sabres are off today, a concession to the new CBA that mandates far more time away from the ice than the old one. No way -- and I mean no way -- Lindy Ruff would have taken today off in the past. There are too many things to work on.

So the team is off to Boston later today and I'll be heading to the airport late this afternoon as well, with the next time on the ice coming at 11:30 a.m. Thursday for the morning skate in TD Garden. Still shaking my head about last night's 4-3 overtime loss to Toronto. Lots of little nuggets percolating in my mind:

Continue reading "Day-after quick hits on troubling loss to Maple Leafs" »

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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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