NHL postpones Bruins-Sens game in wake of Marathon explosion; Sabres scheduled to leave for Boston tomorrow, play on Wednesday
April 15, 2013 - 5:10 PM
By Mike Harrington
In the wake of the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon course, the NHL has announced the postponement of tonight's game between the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins at TD Garden. There is no word on a makeup date for the game.
"The National Hockey League wishes to express its sympathy to all affected by the tragic events that took place in Boston earlier this afternoon," the league said in its official release.
The Sabres are scheduled to leave for Boston on a 3 p.m. flight Tuesday afternoon and are slated to play the Bruins Wednesday night at 7:30 The Sabres are scheduled to stay at their normal Boston hotel, the Ritz-Carlton by the Boston Common. It is about 1 3/4 miles from the explosion site on Boylston Street.
March 31, 2013 - 4:42 PM
By Jay Skurski
With Jordan Leopold sent to St. Louis on Saturday, the Buffalo Sabres have to replace more than 21 minutes of ice time.
In their first game without the veteran defenseman, the beneficiaries were Tyler Myers and rookie Mark Pysyk.
Myers skated a game-high 28 minutes, 13 seconds in the shootout loss, while Pysyk was on the ice for 13:52 – a game after being a healthy scratch in Florida.
"It felt good," Myers said of the extended work. "It's whatever the coaches are going to decide how to play us. I think all the 'D' has been doing a really good job of adjusting to what has been given to them."
Myers didn't learn of Leopold's trade until arriving at First Niagara Center for the game.
March 13, 2013 - 3:01 PM
By Mike Harrington
No white smoke over First Niagara Center this afternoon so the Sabres remain quiet on the trade front while taking today off from practice (seriously now, how could I resist that one?). Here's what's going through my head today in the wake of last night's 3-1 win over the Rangers:
---Today's must-read is Bucky Gleason's column on the Sabres' thoughts moving forward. What do you do with Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville as they head into the final years of their deals? Do you trade them now?
“Do we become a younger team or do we become a team that’s going to build and try to get this core group of guys a chance to move forward?" Miller said. "Or are we not the core anymore? Who knows? They’re not decisions we make. We react off management and circumstance.”
Hmmm. Interesting. I'll be writing more on this topic in tomorrow's sports section.
January 20, 2013 - 4:10 PM
By Mike Harrington
Thomas Vanek's five-point game in Sunday's 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers was the first of his career -- and the first by any Sabre since Drew Stafford had five (including three goals) in a 10-1 win over Atlanta on Jan. 18, 2008.
(4:45 p.m. update: According to the Sabres and the Elias Sports Bureau, Vanek is first NHL player to record five points in a season opener since Phoenix's Steven Reinprecht on Oct 5, 2006.)
Vanek was a big talking point in the locker room, as were Cody Hodgson, Steve Ott and Drew Stafford.
Click any of the files below to go around the room.
Coach Lindy Ruff
Click any of the links below to download the audio files:
January 20, 2013 - 8:00 AM
By Mike Harrington
Greetings and welcome to Sabres season! Bet many of you never thought we'd say that this year.
But lo and behold, here we are at First Niagara Center getting ready for today's opener against the Philadelphia Flyers.
I'll be joined here today by John Vogl, Bucky Gleason and photographer Harry Scull. Here's a look at our coverage plans for the Sabres-Flyers game, which will air on Ch. 2 and WGR Radio with a 12:30 faceoff:
---I'll be on the WGR Radio roundtable from 11-11:40, discussing the season with Brian Koziol, Paul Hamilton and Brian Duff. Hamilton is doing the radio play-by-play today for the ill Rick Jeanneret.
---At noon, I'll host a special opening day chat on the Sabres Edge blog for 30 minutes.
---Then stick around for our in-game blog all afternoon and a special 15-minute "Sabres flashchat" we'll have during the second intermission. We'll have intermission flashchats from time to time throughout the season; make your questions good, as only the best will make it in that short timespan!
---After the game, be sure to look for audio from the locker room and our postgame video wrap-up.
Today's Buffalo News includes our annual NHL preview section, featuring everything you need to know about the Sabres and presented through the auspices of award-winning Graphics Editor Vince Chiaramonte, sports page designer Andrea Zagata and cover artist Dan Zakroczemski.
In our cover story, Vogl talks about the Sabres' situation at center, where Tyler Ennis and Cody Hodgson are vastly inexperienced compared to most teams' No. 1-2 guys down the middle.
Vogl's team preview discusses a Sabres team that might have lost some offense but picked up some sandpaper edge that has been missing.
My main contribution looks at the question of whether a goalie -- Ryan Miller, perhaps? -- can steal a short season for his team.
Follow this link for Vogl's four reasons for optimism and his four reasons for pessimism.
What do I think the Sabres have to do in a short season? Not stumble out of the gate at home.
Vogl talks to Pat LaFontaine to take a look back at the '94-95 Sabres, who finished 22-19-7 and were a first-round loser to the Flyers.
Bucky Gleason says it's all on Lindy Ruff now.
In our Mixed Media column, Greg Connors says NBC is ready to finally get this thing going. The network did a great job yesterday showing the Kings' banner-raising and then switching to Flyers-Penguins.
Outside of the preview section:
In announcing Darcy Regier's contract extension, owner Terry Pegula said Saturday "this looks like a good team." We'll see.
Ville Leino's status for today's game is uncertain due to a leg injury.
January 19, 2013 - 2:06 PM
By Mike Harrington
After making the customary apology to fans virtually every NHL owner has made this week in the wake of the lockout, Sabres owner Terry Pegula dropped a surprise on reporters at the start of his 22-minute news conference today in the Lexus Club at First Niagara Center: He has agreed to a contract extension with General Manager Darcy Regier.
Regier, who took over the club in the summer of 1997, signed what's believed to be a two-year extension in the fall of 2010 and it's not completely clear how long this extension will run. The Sabres do not release contract terms but Regier's original deal was not expiring after this season anyway.
"Both sides are happy with the arrangement," Pegula said. "And we look forward to continuing to work with Darcy into the future. The timing of this decision was not today. We've been talking about this. We had this agreement for quite some time. I approached him. Darcy is a talented guy. ... We work very well together and we're looking forward to the future."
Said Regier: "I am very grateful and honored to be able to continue in this capacity working with this ownership."
In other notes from the press conference:
---Pegula on the lockout: "It's good to be back. I can tell you as an organization, the Sabres are very glad to be playing hockey again. We apologize to the whole hockey fan base, the media, our sponsors and our supporters for the hardship we may have put people through but sometimes things happen that you don't plan for in life."
---Pegula he talked often to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman during the lockout and said he felt it was necessary to help struggling small market teams. Pegula said he did not push for a quick resolution: "I'm a new owner so I'm not about to say, 'OK, here's what we're going to do, guys."
---Pegula said the Sabres' goal remains to win the Stanley Cup and he's been heartened by watching Boston and Los Angeles end droughts in the 40-year range by winning it the last two years.
---Regier said the team has already had organizational talks about the contracts of stars Ryan Miller, Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek -- all of which expire after next season.
---Pegula on this year's club: "I think our team is a lot different than the team I inherited when I bought it. It's got a new imprint on it, a new mark. It looks like a good hockey team."
---Pegula used the term "totally inaccurate" when asked about numerous reports in Pennsylvania he paid $1.3 million to augment the salary of Penn State football coach Bill O'Brien and keep him in Happy Valley so he wouldn't jump to the NFL.
Full audio of the press conference is here
Terry Pegula/Darcy Regier/Ted Black
January 17, 2013 - 8:09 PM
By Jay Skurski
The life of the NHL enforcer is a migratory one.
That's part of the reason John Scott is a Buffalo Sabre. Teams around the Eastern Conference are bulking up. Consider the following roster moves:
- The Islanders claimed 6-foot-8 defenseman Joe Finley off waivers from the Sabres.
- Carolina acquired Kevin Westgarth from Los Angeles.
- Florida traded for George Parros from Anaheim.
- New Jersey signed Krys Barch away from Florida.
- Montreal signed Brandon Prust away from the Rangers.
That doesn't count the other enforcers such as Colton Orr with Toronto, Chris Neil with Ottawa and a trio of Bruins (Milan Lucic, Zdeno Chara and Shawn Thornton).
"It's good for me. More enforcers, the more chances I'll play," Scott said. "I think you see that from year to year, the shift from West to East, with the tough guys. I think last year all the tough guys were in the West, and the West did pretty well, so the Eastern Conference teams wanted to bulk up and be a little more physical. … It's good. I enjoy going up against the more physical guys. It’ll be a fun year."
The Sabres play Carolina home and home next week. To get you ready for what that might look like, watch this:
You can read more about Scott and his role with the Sabres this season in this story from Friday's editions of The News.
January 15, 2013 - 4:18 PM
By Mike Harrington
Some items from the late afternoon:
---The NHL and NHLPA have made a quick side agreement to allow a team to have a compliance buyout right now, rather than in June. The impetus for the deal was Montreal telling Scott Gomez to stay home and make his $7.3 million rather than risk injury now, which would prevent a buyout come June. Same with Wade Redden, due $6.5 million from the Rangers.
Gomez and Redden of the Rangers will be bought out now, although the teams won't save on their cap until next season. But it allows them to play this year. A team can use one of its two buyouts between now and Sunday -- although it will still keep the cap hit even if the player signs with another team.
I wouldn't expect any other buyouts. More of a courtesy to two players really stuck. (So you can stop the Sabres' Ville Leino chatter -- he was on the top power-play unit at today's practice)
---The American Hockey League has announced that Syracuse winger Richard Panik has been given a three-game suspension for his hit Saturday night on Rochester's Zemgus Girgensons, the Sabres' second No. 1 pick last June.
---The Flyers will name Claude Giroux their captain Thursday at an open practice in Wells Fargo Center. They have been without a captain since Chris Pronger went down in November, 2011. Pronger's career is apparently over due to concussions.
Giroux is expected to come to town here Sunday without Danny Briere, who is doing better from his hairline wrist fracture but is still expected to miss the weekend. The Flyers open Saturday against Pittsburgh before coming to Buffalo.
July 31, 2012 - 4:23 PM
Forward Patrick Kaleta signed a multi-year contract to remain with the Buffalo Sabres, the team announced today.
Kaleta, an Angola native, has spent his entire career with the Sabres and was a restricted free agent this summer. More information will be announced at a news conference Wednesday morning.
A bruiser known more for his aggressive play than his goal-scoring ability, Kaleta led the Sabres with 116 penalty minutes last year. He was also credited with the second-most hits on the team behind Robyn Regehr, though his 139 hits were only good for 92nd in the league.
The 10 points Kaleta had last year (5+5) marked his second-highest season output, while 63 games played was a new career-best, including years the Sabres made the playoffs. A bottom-six forward, he averaged 13 minutes and 9 seconds of ice time per game.
Kaleta had a cap hit of $907,500 the last two years, according to Cap Geek.
July 18, 2012 - 12:24 PM
Buffalo Sabres first-round draft pick Mikhail Grigorenko said at development camp last week his only goal for this year was to make the NHL.
He took a step in the right direction Wednesday morning, signing a three-year, entry-level contract.
[UPDATE: Grigorenko's deal has a cap hit of $1.775 million per year, which includes bonuses on a $925,000 NHL base salary, according to CapGeek.]
The 6-foot-3 forward had 85 points in 59 games last year with the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, putting him eighth in scoring in just his first year in the league.
Grigorenko, the 12th-overall draft pick who turned 18 in May, centered fellow first-round picks Joel Armia (16th overall, 2011) and Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall, 2012) on a line at camp last week. Girgensons signed a three-year contract last week.
More details will be announced at a 2:30 p.m. news conference.
July 13, 2012 - 6:27 PM
July 10, 2012 - 2:45 PM
Those who were glad to see Derek Roy shipped out of Buffalo needn’t worry about the name that’s been floating around ice at Sabres prospect camp this week.
Frederick Roy has no relation to the former Sabres center. His NHL bloodlines are even better.
Frederick is the son of Patrick Roy, the Hall-of-Famer who was the winningest goalie in NHL history when he retired in 2003 (551 wins), only to be passed by Martin Brodeur, who has 656 and counting.
“[The name] has followed me my whole life,” Frederick said after practice Tuesday at the First Niagara Center. “I’m proud of what my father did and accomplished in his career. For me, he’s a role model.
“He taught me there’s one way to play to game: the hard way. It’s 100 percent every time I step on that ice. I give my heart and soul to the team I’m playing with.”
Last season, that team was the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), coached by none other than Patrick Roy.
“We [manage that relationship] that really well.” Frederick said of playing for his dad. “We knew that when we got to the ice rink, it was business. I was just another player. At home, we’re really close and we’re really good friends and everything.”
Roy’s size -- he's listed for camp at 5-foot-10, 160 pounds -- may have been a contributing factor to why he wasn’t drafted, but his numbers are there. He scored 53 goals in the last two years with Quebec and put up 92 points in 64 games last season while on a line with Sabres’ first-round pick Mikhail Grigorenko, who couldn’t say enough about Roy.
“I was playing with him all year long, I think he was one of the best linemates in my life,” Grigorenko said. “With him, he makes you better. He’ll always support you and he works hard and he wins all his battles and he’s a really smart player and he always passes the puck. For me, I really enjoyed to play with him.”
Roy also knows development camp member Marcus Foligno. Foligno’s father (and former Sabre) Mike was an assistant coach with Colorado in the late ‘90s while Patrick Roy was on the team. Foligno said he and Frederick enjoyed horsing around in the locker room together as 8- and 9-year-olds.
Frederick originally tried to be a goalie like dad, but said he “didn’t have the patience for it.”
Roy is eager to prove teams wrong for passing over him. He cites improvements to his speed and overall strength as areas to improve on but thinks he has a shot to earn a minor-league contract out of camp.
“I play both ways of the ice,” Roy said. “I can score, I can pass. I’m more of a playmaker. I can play D-zone, I like to finish my checks. ... I just have to show the scouts and the coaches and everyone else.”
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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.
About Sabres Edge
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.
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