Best wishes to RJ

Nikita Zadorov (51) has been scratched all six games this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The complicated situation involving Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov, a healthy scratch all six games this season, could be resolved in the next 48 hours, the Russian’s agent said Sunday night.

The Sabres have essentially been stashing the 19-year-old prospect on their roster.

Here’s the issue: Zadorov, as a European, can’t be sent back to the London Knights, his junior team, because he doesn’t have a release from the Russian club that owns his rights. The Sabres don’t believe Zadorov’s ready …

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The Sabres' Josh Gorges (4) tries to locate the puck in front of Boston's Milan Lucic and teammate Jhonas Enroth on Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Six games looks like a large enough sample size to judge the 2014-15 Sabres. The current edition is terrible, perhaps every bit as bad as last year’s hapless squad that finished dead last in the NHL.

Saturday’s ugly 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins before 18,685 fans inside the First Niagara Center dropped them to 1-5 this season.

The feeble Florida Panthers beat the Sabres 1-0 on Friday, so they finished a two-game weekend home stand with zero goals, the …

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Sam Reinhart has zero points in five games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – In less than a week, top Sabres prospect Sam Reinhart went from centering some high-scoring wingers to playing fourth-line minutes between grinders.

So it wasn’t shocking the Sabres scratched the struggling 18-year-old for Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins inside the First Niagara Center.

Reinhart has zero goals, two shots and a minus-1 rating in his first five NHL games.

“Why do you sit out anybody?” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. “It’s one of those things. He’s a young player …

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Sam Reinhart has played five NHL games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres will scratch top prospect Sam Reinhart for the first time tonight against the Boston Bruins.

It wasn’t hard to see this move coming. The slick center, the No. 2 pick in June, has been skating limited minutes on the fourth line. Reinhart played only seven minutes, nine seconds in Friday’s 1-0 loss to Florida.

The 18-year-old has zero goals, two shots and a minus-1 rating in his first five NHL games.

“Why do you sit out anybody?” Sabres coach …

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Florida's Dmitry Kulikov (7) chases the Sabres' Zemgus Girsgensons on Friday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Fresh off their first win this season, against the winless Florida Panthers, the hapless Sabres imploded again early Friday, allowing a team with three goals all season to dominate them.

The Panthers outshot the Sabres 16-3 during a wretched first period. The Sabres finally put their first even-strength shot on goalie Roberto Luongo at about the 16-minute mark.

The Sabres, thanks to Jhonas Enroth’s strong goaltending, escaped the opening 20 minutes tied. But Sean Bergenheim scored 3:01 into the second …

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Torrey Mitchell skates Friday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Despite having some of the best wheels on the Sabres, speedy winger Torrey Mitchell showcases a simple, straightforward style as a third- or fourth-liner.

The 29-year-old is a no-frills checker.

“I try not to do too much,” Mitchell said Friday prior to the Sabres’ 1-0 loss to the Florida Panthers inside the First Niagara Center.

Mitchell, of course, was talking about knowing his limitations. While the Quebec native moves quickly, he’s not a goal scorer.

He scored in Tuesday’s 4-3 shootout win …

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Randy Moller played 126 games with the Sabres from 1992-94. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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With play-by-play man Randy Moller and the Florida Panthers in town, I thought I’d flashback to one of my favorite stories of the last five years, Moller talking about his, shall we say unique, style of calling a goal. This story ran April 1, 2010. Give it a read. I’ve posted plenty of audio below.

BUFFALO – One minute, 51 seconds into the Sabres’ 6-2 win Wednesday, Florida Panthers winger Jeff Taffe grabbed a pass from Steve MacIntyre in the slot …

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Sam Reinhart was selected No. 2 in June. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Naturally, Sabres center Sam Reinhart, the No. 2 pick in June, wants to play against Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad, the No. 1 pick, tonight.

The prospects don’t have much of a rivalry, though.

“Not the fact the fact that we’re one and two, it’s the fact that I know him very well,” Reinhart said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “We’re pretty good friends.”

The two once roomed together at a Team Canada event. They also got to know …

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Bryan Trottier has won seven Stanley Cups. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Two men who had spent their entire lives in hockey never met until a chance encounter almost 19 years ago outside Memorial Auditorium.

It was 1995-96, Ted Nolan’s first year as Sabres coach. Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier, an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins, was walking outside the Aud in a snowstorm when Nolan spotted him.

Nolan pulled over and offered a lift.

“We had a five-minute chat,” Trottier, one of Nolan’s new assistant coaches, recalled last week inside the …

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Patrick Kaleta practiced Thursday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Patrick Kaleta’s face was mangled.

“Broke a bunch of things in there,” the oft-injured Sabres winger said Thursday following practice inside the First Niagara Center.

Kaleta said doctors inserted three plates and 14 screws after a shot hit him in the face during a Sept. 28 preseason game in Toronto. The 28-year-old has experienced blurred vision and migraines.

Still, less than three weeks after the scary incident, the Angola native is on the road back to game action. He skated with …

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