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Hall of Famer Rick Jeanneret ready to get his season started today

WASHINGTON -- Rick Jeanneret has been calling Sabres games for more than 40 years. The butterflies have long since disappeared.

Still, he's a little anxious as the puck gets ready to drop for the Sabres and Capitals.

"We’ll find out how rusty I am very shortly," Jeanneret said this afternoon during a broadcast booth chat in Verizon Center. "I’m long past the days of being nervous, but I am anticipating it quite a bit because I’m not so sure I’m going to be right up to snuff to begin with here. I think once things get under way, I’ll be fine."

Jeanneret is back after missing the opening four games with an illness that required a brief hospitalization. He's spent the last week recuperating and following doctor's orders.

"I spent a lot of time with the iPad and a lot of time on the Kindle reading," he said. "I really didn’t do a whole lot more than that. I was told to rest, and I tried to keep my nose to the grindstone and obey the orders. That’s basically all I was doing.

"I did keep in touch with the team, and they were letting me know what was happening. Mostly, from the top down, they just said, 'Stay away and get better. Don’t even think about coming back until you are.' It was the typical Buffalo Sabres’ treatment of employees. It was top shelf."

---John Vogl

Bulletin: Jeanneret returns Sunday

RJBy Mike Harrington

The Sabres have confirmed that Hall of Fame broadcaster Rick Jeanneret (right) has made the trip to Washington and will return to the air for Sunday's game against the Capitals.

The game begins at 3 p.m and Jeanneret will join Rob Ray on the call for MSG and WGR Radio. Jeanneret has missed the first four games of the season due to an undisclosed illness.

(Jeanneret photo: Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

On the air with NHL Network

Prior to Friday night's 3-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, Mike Harrington discussed the latest on the Sabres with Bill Pidto and E.J. Hradek of "NHL Live" on the NHL Network.

Watch the segment below:

Hawerchuk played a major role on '93 team that made Jeanneret an icon

It's Hall of Fame Night at First Niagara Center as Rick Jeanneret and Dale Hawerchuk earn their tickets into the Sabres Hall in ceremonies prior to the game against the Winnipeg Jets, the team that drafted Hawerchuk first overall in 1981. 

(The ceremonies start at 7:08 and the game is pushed back to 7:23. Fans should be in their seats by 7 to see the pregame videos and such).

I had a great conversation yesterday with Jeanneret for a story in today's paper and will be speaking to Hawerchuk this evening during a 6:30 media briefing. One thing that didn't make the story was when we chatted about the Sabres' incredible 1992-93 season, the one that saw Pat LaFontaine (53-95-148), Alexander Mogilny (76-51-127) and Hawerchuk (16-80-96) all go wild offensively.

It was the year that featured the "May Day" goal that cemented Jeanneret as an icon and the Sabres then went on to lose four straight one-goal games to Montreal, three in overtime. The Canadiens went on to win the Stanley Cup. Injuries to LaFontaine, Mogilny and Doug Bodger ruined the Sabres' hopes that year, easily forgotten as a close brush with the Cup.

"It was 10 years for them to graduate out of the first round so the [May Day victory] was a big deal," Jeanneret said. "They went on to Montreal ... and it didn't work on in the end but that was a pretty good run though."

And, of course, on Jeanneret's night, talking about the '92-93 season gives us another reason to give you this flashback and an retrospective that was produced last year.

---Mike Harrington

Audio: The Rick Martin Archives

Pete Weber, the longtime Buffalo broadcaster who's now calling games for the Nashville Predators, provided us with some audio from Rick Martin's career in Buffalo.

Martin died Sunday in a one-car crash in Clarence. An autopsy today concluded he died of heart disease.

Here's some of the audio that Weber shared:

The call of Martin's 1978 All-Star Game goal:

Martin interviewed after All-Star game:

A 1981 feature Weber did on Martin:

Martin's remarks when the numbers of the French Connection were retired:

Here's a call of a Martin goal from the late Ted Darling:

Audio: Terry Pegula meets The News' Editorial Board

Sabres owner Terry Pegula and team President Ted Black met with editors, reporters and other Buffalo News staffers for an editorial board meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 23.

Listen to the full meeting here (42m49s):

Here's a part of the discussion about head coach Lindy Ruff and general manager Darcy Regier (7m55s):

The conversation included questions about Pegula's wealth and what it means for the team (11m10s):

Here's Pegula talking about what made him make the move to buy the Sabres (1m54s):

Those participating in the meeting included News President Warren T. Colville, Editor and Vice President Margaret Sullivan, Assistant Managing Editor Elizabeth Kahn, Sports Editor Steve Jones, Deputy Editorial Page Editor Kevin Walter, editorial writer Dawn Bracely and the sports department's Jerry Sullivan, Bucky Gleason, Mike Harrington and John Vogl.

News reporter and columnist Denise Jewell Gee recorded audio and video at the meeting.

Lindy on Kelley

I'm thinking Jim Kelley would really hate that my first blog from Sabres practice today at the Northtown Center of Amherst concerns what was said about him and not about any Sabres updates. But that what happens when you're a Hall of Famer. Here were Lindy Ruff's comments today on Kelley's death:

"I traded texts with Jim a couple weeks ago," Ruff said. "I've been around Jim for a long time and I have a lot of respect for the job he did and the way he handled himself. I know how well-respected he was in the hockey media community. He was a good man. He'll be missed. He was a good example for a lot of young writers."

Ruff, of course, morphed from a young player when Kelley got on the beat in the 1981 to the team captain and then returned as coach in 1997. How did his relationship with Kelley change?

"When I coached, I didn't read anymore so the relationship got better," Ruff said with a big smile. "As a player, there was always stuff that bothered you and that's a part of the business too. That's part of what goes on. Players and coaches have to understand that. Overall, Jim was a very respected media person, especially in the hockey world."

Here are four tribute columns I have found on Kelley today.

--WGR Radio's Mike Schopp -- who hosted the wonderful "Sharpshooters" show on WNSA with Kelley and Mike Robitaille -- provides plenty of personal glimpses in this column and describes how Kelley learned to respect the craft of radio.'s Stu Hackel, the former NHL director of broadcasting and Kelley's boss when he moved to in 1999, recalls Kelley's fire and passion for the job.'s Michael Farber, a fellow giant in the world of hockey journalism, put it out there bluntly and wonderfully: "Jim Kelley was a better person than he was a hockey writer."

--And yet another giant, Eric Duhatschek of the Globe & Mail and Hockey Night in Canada, fondly remembers remembers the road he and Kelley traveled that dates all the way back to the 1980s.

Kelley would want some practice updates too. Rob Niedermayer (knee) and Tim Connolly (groin) both skated on their own, although Niedermayer cut his skate short after a few laps. Ruff said Connolly is progressing.

---Mike Harrington

The words and voice of Jim Kelley

Kelley I am charged with the task today of covering Sabres practice on the day after the death of Hall of Fame hockey writer Jim Kelley, a larger-than-life figure at The News for more than 30 years. An awesome responsibility.

Frankly, I'm still gathering some of my favorite Kelley memories over the last 26 years I've spent at One News Plaza. And I'm sure you'll be reading the thoughts of others on the staff as well. For now, here's a look at some terrific Kelley links as well as audio and video on his death.

His bio on is uproarious, classic Kelley. Click the link and read it. Trust me.

Here's Kelley's final column on Sportsnet, which the network said was filed at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday and was posted yesterday. 

Here's a brilliant Kelley column posted Nov. 19 upon the death of Pat Burns, recalling some of their final conversations about the turns in their lives.

How about Kelley's 10-years-later retrospective on his night in the press box during No Goal? A gem from Western New York Hockey Magazine.

Click below for an audio retrospective that was compiled on WBEN Radio by longtime producer Steve Cichon. Hysterical clips. This is how Kelley was on the air, in the press box, in the office, wherever. 

And here's a video look at coverage of Kelley's death on Sportsnet and locally on Channel 4.

---Mike Harrington

After Cup win comes Hawks' cap trouble

Getting quite a kick about reading all this Blackhawks dynasty talk. Of course, they're going to be a strong team again next season. But I'm not holding my breath thinking about the chances of another Patrick Kane-like moment (click below for the WGN Radio audio of the awkward Cup-winning goal).

Patrick Kane's winning goal


The Hawks are in serious salary cap trouble and now comes this fascinating Toronto Globe & Mail piece that indicates they could actually be dealing with a penalty cap of around $4 million next year -- spending around $54 milllion when the league cap will be in the $58 million range. That's the way the CBA deals with a team that goes over, which the Hawks did because of all the bonuses they paid, including $1.3 million to Jonathan Toews for his Conn Smythe Trophy.

A key player or two or three will have to go off this roster. Now one obviously will be overpaid (and now backup) goalie Cristobal Huet, who may end up in the minors. But there could be others available. It will be an interesting summer in Chicago, and not just because of where the players are taking the Cup.

---Mike Harrington

(Audio from

More Olympic talk from Miller

NEW YORK -- Because the Rangers played last night and don't do morning skates in Manhattan at Madison Square Garden, Ryan Miller didn't face the horde of Big Apple media you might have expected early this afternoon in the wake of his Olympic heroics. But an MSG camera crew for the Rangers telecast was on hand and Miller, as always, didn't disappoint with his insight.

Does he expect to hear some applause for Rangers fans tonight like he did Tuesday in Pittsburgh?

"Our team was a source of pride for people and that was a big positive for us," Miller said. "A lot of guys really felt good about being mentioned in circles far more than the standard sports page. Getting that to happen here might be a surprise but if it can happen in Pittsburgh, I guess it can happen anywhere. Pittsburgh has pretty loyal fans and New Yorkers obviously have a reputation for being a little more brash but they're loyal too."

More from Miller today:

---On the media whirlwind he's been on the last three weeks: "I've been doing a lot of talking about myself which is something I'm not really used to. Probably in Buffalo a little bit I am, but [the WNY media] have all heard my stories. Apparently, more people want to now what I'm all about so that's a little different. 

"I'm just trying to stay positive with that and embrace it. It's not a chance to promote myself as much as it's a chance to promote the game. What they want to know about me doesn't necessarily fall in line with what I've been telling the sports pages for the last 10-12 years."

---On attending the closing ceremonies a couple hours after losing the gold medal game: "I tried to have fun with the whole Olympic experience and that's why I went and did it. I kind of planned on doing it from the start if I had the chance. If we played in the game, I wanted to do it. No matter the outcome, I was going to be there.

"I had to do drug testing and I had about five minutes to shower and get into that outfit which took a little bit of work because everything was explained on a pamphlet and you tried to do everything right so you didn't look out of place. It was a fun experience to be part of an Olympic moment not just with my event. It was something bigger where people were celebrating the whole Olympics."

---On the Sabres' current 0-6-2 slide on the road: "We have to get something going. Looking at that streak of games, we've never been that far off. There just seems to have been a series of letdowns we haven't made up for. If we accept hockey is about mistakes, you have to play to win and keep playing. Those mistakes will happen. You just have to keep going.

"Look at [Friday's 3-2 overtime win over Philadelphia]. Timmy Connolly made a mistake. We rebounded on the bench and he went and did something about it. It's about attitude and that was great to see. We have to go out and have full intention of winning every night."

---Mike Harrington

Live from the Arena: Sabres vs. Bruins

Greetings from HSBC Arena as the Sabres try to end this ugly four-game losing streak against the Bruins. A note on streaks: Several of you complained we've written this is their first four-game skid of the season even though they've completed their West Coast trip with one. Au contraire, sports fans. The Sabres got a shootout point in Los Angeles so the NHL considers that an 0-3-1 winless streak and not a four-game losing streak. Just like the 10-game slide the Bruins ended Sunday in Montreal was a 10-game winless streak because they were 0-6-4.

As for tonight's game, you would have thought back in the fall that Ryan Miller and Tim Thomas might be battling for No. 1 on the U.S. Olympic team tonight. Not. Thomas isn't even in net, languishing as the clear No. 2 in Boston behind Tuukka Rask. He didn't have much to say about his status here after practice Monday,as this Boston Globe story reports.

Some pregame ceremonies tonight to induct Jim Lorentz and Joe Crozier into the Sabres Hall of Fame and then we'll get to the action. Huge roar when the French Connection came on to the ice to join the ceremony.

---Mike Harrington

Shootout:  Sabres are 3-5 in them this year while Boston is 6-9 (15 of them? Wow). Boston has lost four straight. Sabres are 12 for 40 this year (Hecht is 3 for 3) and the goalies have allowed 14 goals on 38 shots (Miller has stopped 16 of 25). Boston shooters are 11 for 48. Rask has stopped 14 of 21.

Bruins win: Boston gets credit for a 3-2 victory. Pominville scored for Buffalo but Hecht, Connolly and Stafford were all stopped. Krejci got the winner for the Bruins. Winless streak hits five, division lead is gone as Ottawa pulls into tie with 3-2 win over Calgary.


4:35 left: Miller keeps the game alive by robbing Matt Hunwick on a 2-on-1.

3:33 left: Bruins to the power play as Michael Ryder cuts in front by Butler and Vanek has to take a hooking penalty.

On to the shootout: The Sabres survive as Miller makes a couple key saves on the power play and Connolly takes one from the point on the foot. Shots were 4-2 for Boston and it finished 45-34 for Buffalo.

Third Period

14:08 left: Not much going on until Miller stoned Marco Strum twice on one shift. Shots are 4-2 for Boston.

12:35 left: Another huge save by Miller on Marc Savard keeps things tied. Sabres starting to give the puck away again in this period, much as they did in the first. Out of town, Ottawa takes 3-2 lead over Calgary after two. An Ottawa win and Buffalo loss in regulation knocks the Sabres out of first place in the Northeast Division.

8:52 left: Wideman goes for cross checking, giving Buffalo a huge chance to take the lead.

6:40 left: Four great saves by Rask -- two on Roy and one each on Myers and Vanek -- deny Buffalo on the power play and keep things even. That's another PP that goes down as another chance without a goal but that's one the Sabres want to duplicate at almost every chance. Sabres have a 40-28 edge in shots, 9-6 in this period.

5:44 left: Huge battle between Mair and Lucic won by Mair early and Lucic at the end. That's two fights tonight (would have been three if Chara answered Gaustad's challenge). About time we saw some spunk from this club. I'd say some of this goes back to Stafford saying enough was enough Saturday in Columbus with R.J. Umberger. Mair went off the ice, probably with a sore hand after cracking Lucic on the helmet.

42.1 left: A big scare as Myers goes down like a shot after deflecting Paille's slapper into his face. He skates off to the dressing room.

21.8 left: Pominville nearly steals a win from Wideman, taking the puck behind the net and getting stopped by Rask on the wraparound.

On to OT: Shots were 12-8 for the Sabres and 43-30 through regulation. That's two shy of Buffalo's season high of 45 set in the loss to Anaheim.

Second Period

Of note: More ex-Sabres indignity as Miro Satan was plus-2 in that period and got one of the assists on Paille's wraparound goal. Satan had no points in his last eight games and Paille had none in his last seven. Yeesh.

18:13 left: Much better start as Hecht and Vanek have in-tight chances in the first 90 seconds that Rask stops. Better than any chance Buffalo had in the first period.

17:06 left: Rivet has apparently had enough, starting a scrap with Shawn Thornton. The captain had good intentions but the decision goes to Thornton. Milan Lucic gets a hooking penalty so Buffalo goes to the power play. Lately, that's been no help.

16:14 left: A two-man edge for 1:08 as Steve Begin goes for holding Myers. He had been driving the rookie crazy in the Buffalo zone but got a little too overzealous. Lindy Ruff calls timeout here, sensing this is a big moment.

15:25 left: Roy finally snaps the ice with a wicked snapshot top shelf over Rask's glove on a Connolly feed. And still 1:12 left in Begin's penalty. Roy's 14th.

15:19 left: MacArthur breaks in alone but Rask makes the save.

13:14 left: Bruins' first two shots are tough saves for Miller, including a rebound stop on Blake Wheeler.

10:08 left: Gaustad challenges Chara and the big guy refuses to drop the gloves. Lucic comes in and tries to take up the case but gets nothing?? Gaustad goes for unsportsmanlike conduct. Ridiculous. Lucic could have gotten a game misconduct for crying out loud.

9:09 left: Chara really-really-really getting the boos from the crowd now.

3:46 left: Good pad save by Miller on David Krejci. Miller has been very sharp in this period. The Sabres have an 11-9 edge in shots and it's 28-20 for the game.

1:25 left: HUGE turn of events there as Miller stones Wheeler and Gaustad just clears the rebound away from the empt cage. He gets it to Myers, who skates away and fires a wicked wrister past Rask to tie it at 2-2 on Buffalo's 30th shot of the night. That was a vintage goal, one you'd see from an all-star in the Larry Robinson vain. Awesome. His eighth of the year and his 32nd point, tied for third among NHL rookies.

End-2nd: Much better. Shots were 14-11 for the Sabres and 31-22 for the game.

First Period

Of note: We face off at 7:21 after the HOF ceremonies and Ronan Tynan doing God Bless America.

18:29 left: Interesting start as Gaustad drills Dennis Wideman behind the net and draws plenty of attention from Zdeno Chara the rest of the shift. Bruins will have No. 28 on their minds. Sabres already guilty of two giveaways in their end. That can't continue.

15:09 left: Old friend Daniel Paille gives the Bruins a 1-0 lead on a wraparound that Miller simply didn't react to. Roy got screened by the referee to Miller's right and Paille came out untouched to the goalie's left as Butler and Rivet were caught napping. Bad start. Seven straight goals against Buffalo.

11:27 left: I thought Lindy Ruff said today he wanted to see his team attack more? Other than the Gaustad hit, pretty lame effort so far.

8:02 left: You gotta be kidding. Paille tips a Chara point shot past Miller for a 2-0 lead. His first two-goal game as a Bruin. Now I gotta look up when he last did that for Buffalo.

7:05 left: Just looked it up -- Paille's fifth career two-goal game and first since Buffalo's 7-3 loss at Pittsburgh on March 12, 2008. Eight straight for the opponents.

6:31 left: Unreal. Miller just stopped Paille cold on a clear break in the Buffalo zone. Paille, by the way, has never had a hat trick. Shots are 10-9 for the Sabres but they've hardly had a huge chance.

3:00 left: More on Paille -- he entered this one with no goals in his last seven games and just three in his last 21. Came real close to having three in an 8 1/2-minute span here.

End-1st: Sabres leave to richly deserved boos in a 2-0 hole. They have a 17-11 edge in shots but there's a classic case of a period where the SOG total explains nothing. Buffalo might have had one or two quality chances while Boston had six or seven.

Morning skate report: RJ still out, Miller in

Hockey talk in a second (Ryan Miller is starting tonight) but the big news is that Rick Jeanneret remains on vacation. His place behind the mike will be taken tonight by Steve Kouleas of the SCORE Network in Toronto, a long-time AHL play-by-play man who will be covering the Olympics in Vancouver.

(*2 p.m. UPDATE: Jeanneret is expected to be back for Friday's game against Boston*)

Meanwhile, Ryan Miller will get the start tonight against the New Jersey Devils even though he started six of the seven games on the road trip -- and played 50 minutes in relief of Patrick Lalime in Anaheim.

"The reason we gave him another full day off on the trip was to have him rested," said coach Lindy Ruff. "You look at this situation coming back and Patty is going to be as tired as Ryan right now. He might even be a little bit more because of the practice workout he goes through. And he still has to fly and travel at the same time."

Ruff said his lineup is uncertain tonight, pending Drew Stafford's return from the flu bug that KO'd him from Monday's game in Vancouver. The coach said all players will dress for warmups. There doesn't appear to be any changes in the offing on defense as Andrej Sekera and Nathan Paetsch will be scratches.

The Sabres are 0-3-1 in their last four games while the Devils are 2-5 in their last seven and have just 11 goals in their last eight. Odd New Jersey stat: The Devils are 10-1 in the second game of back-to-backs and that comes into play after last night's 3-0 loss in Ottawa.

Speaking of Ottawa, the Senators are just five points behind the Sabres but Buffalo still has three games in hand. Still, Ottawa was 16 back just a couple of weeks ago.

"There's desperate teams to make the playoffs and get into that picture and desperate teams to stay where they are in the lineup," Ruff said. "Right now, we're in the desperate category. We're trying to get out of a losing funk. ... We don't have the luxury now of saying, "Well, it's too bad it was our first game back.' "

---Mike Harrington


Merry ... Festivus ?

In case you missed it, here's the much talked-about intermission feature from Wednesday night's game featuring Drew Stafford talking about his love of Festivus over Christmas. Could Stafford and host Kevin Sylvester have been any more strait-laced? And how about Lindy Ruff's droll answer to Sylvester's question. This one has Daily Show written all over. Hysterical.

What's this all about? Are you too young to remember the famous "Seinfeld" episode? Here's the recap of that classic from the '90s:

---Mike Harrington


Classic save

In a decade marked by dreary Stanley Cup finals series, boring hockey and a season-wrecking lockout, a snowy day in Orchard Park may have marked a turning point for the NHL. So says this New York Times article, which several of you graciously sent to my attention.

The Sabres-Penguins game of Jan. 1, 2008 certainly seems like it will go down in history as a watershed moment for the league. The Winter Classic has quickly become part of the annual landscape of the league, with this year's game at Fenway Park between the Flyers and Bruins getting huge hype and many teams pining to be a future host of an event that has dwarfed the All-Star Game in media coverage.

Wrote author Jeff Z. Klein, "... if hockey fans 10 years from now are following an N.H.L. that is healthy and prosperous, they can look back at that snowy afternoon outside Buffalo as the day the league saved itself."

Cool stuff. And thanks to Syracuse Post-Standard assistant news editor Larry Dietrich for pointing out that Klein is one of his fellow mates from Sweet Home High, Class of '74. Small world. What am I? Sweet Home, Class of '83.

---Mike Harrington


Christmas video with Buffalo hockey flavor (and more)

Alyonka Larionov, the daughter of former Red Wings star Igor Larionov, was a guest on NHL Live this afternoon.

Alyonka -- one of the hosts of "NHL in Russian," a radio show -- spoke about the music video she and her sister, Diana, have put out in an attempt to raise money for Hockey Fights Cancer. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the single benefit the charity.

The song is called "What Christmas Means to Me." The sisters convinced a number of NHLers to appear in the video, holding signs indicating what Christmas means to them.

Three with Buffalo connections include East Amherst's Brooks Orpik (2:36, Snowed in in Buffalo), former Sabre Brian Campbell (3:50, Seeing Kids Smile!) and South Buffalo's Patrick Kane (3:51, Going home to Buffalo).

Remember, the only reason you are watching this video is to check out the Buffalo references.

---Geoff Nason

Hockey sounds of the season

It is a Sabres off day wedged between matchups with the Senators and Leafs, so here goes ...

CBC Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean and TSN's Dave Hodge (who handled play-by-play duties in the Sabres' inaugural season) played bit parts during a Holiday Jam benefit concert at Toronto's Phoenix Concert Theatre earlier this week. The two were squaring off in cards in sort of a Western saloon setting as Sam Roberts (intermission performer at the '08 Winter Classic) led a group rendition of Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler."

Hodge also took part in a duet with noted Senators fan and Ottawa native Kathleen Edwards. The two sung -- although Hodge was mainly using spoken word -- a racy version of Linda Ronstadt's "We Need a Whole Lot More of Jesus (and a Lot Less Rock and Roll)."

Edwards is no stranger to mixing hockey with music. Marty McSorley, Paul Coffey and others starred in her "I Make the Dough, You Get the Glory" video and she has another song titled "Hockey Skates."

Oh yeah, the show was kicked off by the Tragically Hip's Gord Downie. We will close with the Hip's 2006 effort, "Lonely End of the Rink" before returning to your regularly scheduled hockey blogging.

---Geoff Nason

It's NHL Preview Day

Be sure to pick up a copy of today's NHL Preview section, our 12-page look at the Sabres and the league heading into the 2009-10 season. It starts with the full-page cover illustration of Lindy Ruff and Darcy Regier on what could be their final (Zamboni) ride at the helm of the Sabres. Hysterical (Kudos to Dan Zac).


Realizing many loyal Edge readers/contributors are out of town, here are links to the key highlights.

The entire section can be found here.

John Vogl's cover story: The fans are getting antsy and it might be last-chance time for Lindy and Darcy.

Vogl's team preview: It's about building from within.

Bucky Gleason column: Pominville hopes to increase the population.

My look at Derek Roy: He needs to take a step up.

Getting the point: How do the Sabres get over the playoff hump?

Alan Pergament: Some road games in HD. I say all of them should be but that's another story for another time and, Pergament points out, the Sabres are not contracturally obligated to bring them all in HD.  

Team previews: If you go on the main preview page, head to any of the 30 team links on the right side for Bucky's take on their strengths and weaknesses.

---Mike Harrington


Make your call for Sabres Hall

The Sabres Hall of Fame Committee has named six nominees for the team's highest honor and will cut that list to a final four before deciding on its inductees in the next couple of weeks.

The list of six includes former players Dominik Hasek, Jim Lorentz, Alexander Mogilny and Rob Ray, current broadcaster Rick Jeanneret and former coach Joe Crozier. Lorentz and Ray, of course, have also served the team as broadcasters.

Dave Andreychuk and former PA announcer Milt Ellis were inducted last year. (Memo to Sabres Alumni group: Update your Web site).

If you were on the Sabres Hall Committee, make your choices at our poll. I would guess no more than three of the final four will be inducted.

---Mike Harrington


DirecTV may bench Versus

Regular blog readers know I'm very anti-Versus but even I realize this would be a very bad thing for the NHL: DirecTV is going to give the NHL's main national network the boot come Monday unless the two can come to an agreement over fees. Versus said its growth is worthy of more coin. The satellite folks say Versus shouldn't be selling that logic and they're not buying.

We'll see who blinks on this one. Dear NHL: It's called E-S-P-N. As much as they're completely full of themselves, you're really nothing unless you're on their family of networks.

---Mike Harrington


Kane statement coming Monday

Patrick Kane has yet to give his side of what happened on that bizarre cab ride from Chippewa to Eastwood Place but it looks like that will change Monday. Kane is expected to make a statement Monday on the first day of the U.S. Olympic team's development camp in suburban Chicago. I doubt there's going to be anything groundbreaking there, especially with the case in grand jury mode.

Cue all your small change, canoe-vs-taxi tipping jokes here. It should be interesting to hear his side. No matter what the story, you'd hope he'll at least learn that nothing good generally happens at 5 a.m.

Here's the Chicago Tribune's collection of stories on the Kane arrest.

---Mike Harrington


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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 |

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 |