Training Camp Edition

Alexander Nylander has looked good so far in training camp. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Some quick updates this morning from KeyBank Center, where the Sabres prepared for tonight’s preseason opener against the Minnesota Wild before flying to Penn State University:

– The Sabres will use a mix of veterans, youngsters and AHL players for the tilt at Pegula Ice Arena.

Eighth overall pick Alexander Nylander, whose early training camp play has impressed coach Dan Bylsma, will debut on the left wing beside center Cal O’Reilly and Williamsville’s Cole Schneider.

Newcomer Anders Nilsson will start in …

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Anders Nilsson will likely be the Sabres' backup goalie this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Two years ago, frustrated by his limited opportunities, Sabres newcomer Anders Nilsson bolted North America for a gig tending goal for Ak Bars Kazan, a Russian team in the KHL.

The decision, of course, made Nilsson’s NHL future iffy. But after 23 appearances with the New York Islanders, the Swede said he felt “ready for the next step.” He wanted to develop at a high level, something a fourth straight season in the minors wouldn’t offer him.

“You know, it’s …

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Matt Moulson scored only eight goals last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres winger Matt Moulson knows he has plenty of doubters. The former 30-goal scorer understands following a miserable year punctuated by his general manager challenging his work habits, some support for him has eroded.

Moulson, 32, has clearly been humbled. An eight-goal season can do that. So can drawing Tim Murray’s ire.

“I definitely have a chip on my shoulder coming in to prove a lot of people wrong that maybe lost a little belief,” Moulson said Friday following the …

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A vision problem ended Cody Franson's season Feb. 19. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Cody Franson had never experienced anything like the unusual vision ailment that sidelined him the final 23 games last season.

“It was very weird,” Franson said Friday following the first sessions of training camp inside HarborCenter.

Franson was originally diagnosed with a concussion after Columbus’ Scott Hartnell boarded him Feb. 19. But the loquacious veteran quickly passed his testing and briefly resumed practicing before his season ended.

So what was wrong?

“It was more of a vestibular thing than anything,” …

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Jack Eichel played three games at the World Cup. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Expect Sabres center Jack Eichel, who just finished a three-game stint at the World Cup, to join his teammates at training camp this weekend.

Eichel, 19, will return to Buffalo today. The second-year star scored one goal and two points before Team North America was eliminated.

“We’ll see him back at the rink the next couple of days and have a conversation about when he’ll get back on the ice,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said this afternoon.

Eichel won’t play in …

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Evander Kane has a court date Oct. 31. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Off-ice incidents like the one at a local bar that resulted in Evander Kane being arrested and charged “happen to athletes or people in a position such as myself,” the Sabres winger said Thursday.

“Those are things you just have to deal with, kind of come with the territory,” Kane said inside KeyBank Center after veterans reported to training camp for physicals. “In saying that, you have to be a little bit more aware and kind of put yourself …

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Tyler Ennis hasn't scored a goal since Oct. 27. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – In the more than three months Tyler Ennis spent recovering from a concussion last season, the Sabres’ longest-tenured player learned he needed to approach what he calls a “pretty special job” differently.

“It makes you really not only appreciate what you got, but want to do better the next time,” Ennis said Thursday inside KeyBank Center after veterans reported to training camp for physicals.

That’s probably one reason why Ennis, who’s generously listed at 5-foot-9, spent the summer packing some …

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Phil Kessel has a long history with USA Hockey. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Phil Kessel tweet, a butt-end into the midsection of Team USA, had more than 73,000 retweets and 115,000 likes as of this afternoon.

As the Americans suffered an embarrassing 4-2 elimination loss Tuesday in the World Cup to Team Canada, the Pittsburgh Penguins star, the most notable talent left off a squad that flopped miserably, riled up the hockey universe with the following tweet:

“Just sitting around the house tonight w my dog. Felt like I should be doing …

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Tyler Ennis only played 23 games last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – In the more than three months Tyler Ennis spent recovering from a concussion last season, the Sabres’ longest-tenured player learned he needed to approach what he calls a “pretty special job” differently.

“It makes you really not only appreciate what you got, but want to do better the next time,” Ennis said this morning inside KeyBank Center after veterans reported to training camp for physicals.

That’s probably one reason why Ennis, who’s generously listed at 5-foot-9, spent the summer packing …

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Evander Kane (9) fights Alex Petrovic last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Evander Kane sounded guarded. When the Sabres winger was asked about his turbulent summer, which included charges following an incident at a local bar, he offered only a short reply or deflected the question.

“I’m not going to say too much,” Kane said this morning inside KeyBank Center after veterans reported to training camp for physicals. “I’m here, I’m in camp.”

Kane, 25, said he has “always felt” he needs to walk the straight and narrow line.

“Obviously, these situations are …

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