Enjoy the Summer

Jimmy Vesey was a free agent four days. ©2016, Gil Talbot, Harvard Athletics
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

Jimmy Vesey, the Hobey Baker Award winner whose negotiating rights the Buffalo Sabres owned for 57 days, signed a two-year, $1.85 million entry-level contract Friday with the New York Rangers, ending an odd five months in which the college star spurned the Nashville Predators to become a free agent.

Vesey, 23, officially became unrestricted on Tuesday, and, as expected, a slew of teams tried recruiting the high-scoring former Harvard University winger.

In addition to the Rangers, his hometown Boston Bruins, the Chicago …

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Jimmy Vesey should be an unrestricted free agent Tuesday. ©2016, Gil Talbot, Harvard Athletics
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Ten years ago, Jimmy Vesey wouldn’t have become front-page news or a household name in these parts. The Hobey Baker Award winner’s summer hockey games in Foxborough, Mass., wouldn’t have been discussed, let alone attended by fans and media members.

In an era now long gone, Vesey, whose rights the Sabres acquired June 20, would have simply been another strong prospect. Upon turning pro, the former Harvard University star would have reported to the minors and quietly started his …

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Cody Franson suffered a season-ending injury Feb. 19. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

How remarkably healthy did the Buffalo blue line stay in 2015-16? The Sabres recalled a defenseman as an injury replacement just once.

Think about that. Over the course of the grueling six-month, 82-game season, the Sabres only dipped into the AHL on March 18, when they summoned Chad Ruhwedel to sub for Carlo Colaiacovo prior to their 72nd contest. Ruhwedel played that night and was quickly returned to the Rochester Americans.

The Sabres almost certainly won’t be so lucky injury-wise next season. …

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Joe Cecconi made the first cut in Plymouth, Mich., and will go to another USA Hockey camp in Buffalo. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

Right now, Youngstown native Joe Cecconi is participating in USA Hockey’s national junior evaluation camp in Plymouth, Mich., about a 20-minute drive from his college, the University of Michigan.

Come December, Cecconi, 19, will leave the Wolverines and wear the Team USA crest again in Buffalo, where he will skate in the national junior select camp. Cecconi, who will start his sophomore season soon, earned an invite thanks to a strong showing at the evaluation camp.

The roster for the U.S. world …

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Alexander Nylander was drafted eighth overall. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

Alexander Nylander’s first game action in a Buffalo uniform is just six weeks away, as the Sabres will host the “Prospects Challenge” tournament from Sept. 16-19 at HarborCenter, the team announced this morning.

Nylander, the talented Swedish winger drafted eighth overall June 24, will almost certainly participate in the three-team, round-robin tournament, which also includes the Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils.

The Sabres started the tournament last season.

The game schedule:

Sept. 17, Buffalo vs. New Jersey, 7 p.m.

Sept. 18, Boston vs. New …

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Rasmus Asplund has already played two seasons of pro hockey. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

Where will Buffalo Sabres prospect Rasmus Asplund end up next season?

Asplund, the 33rd overall pick June 25, has already played two seasons of professional hockey at home. The talented center could return to the Swedish Hockey League in 2016-17. Or he could skate in North America, either with the Sabres or their AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans.

Wherever Asplund, 18, plays, there’s a good chance he’ll be leaving in December for the world junior championship. Right now, as you can see …

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Evander Kane has played one season with the Sabres. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

Buffalo Sabres winger Evander Kane has been arrested and charged with one misdemeanor count of criminal trespass and four counts of non-criminal harassment in connection with an incident at a downtown bar last month.

Kane, 24, turned himself into Buffalo police this morning and was handcuffed before being released, according to multiple reports. He is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 1.

Kane’s attorney, Paul J. Cambria, told The Buffalo News, “Without a doubt, he plans to defend himself against these charges.”

Aug. …

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Tim Kennedy played also played last season in Europe. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – In a perfect world, Tim Kennedy said, his summer would have played out as he had hoped.

Following a rough European season, the former Sabres forward wanted an NHL team, preferably one with an AHL affiliate in the Northeast, to sign him.

“But sports today is a results-based industry,” Kennedy told the Times Herald on Thursday.

Of course it is, and Kennedy, an AHL All-Star in 2014-15, is coming off a career-worst four-goal, 14-point campaign split between two teams in the …

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John Muse was a star at Boston College. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres added defense depth for the AHL today, signing Erik Burgdoerfer to a one-year, two-way contract.

He will most likely start next season with the Rochester Americans.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Burgdoerfer, 27, spent last season with the AHL Hershey Bears, compiling six goals, 20 points and 59 penalty minutes in 74 games.

Burgdoerfer mostly played in the ECHL for four seasons before moving up to the AHL in 2014-15. The East Setauket native played collegiately at R.P.I.

The Amerks have also …

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Rasmus Asplund left junior hockey almost two years ago. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Almost two years ago, in the midst of a high-scoring junior season, Rasmus Asplund’s success forced the Sabres prospect to “start from scratch,” he said.

Asplund had already scored 25 points in 19 games when Färjestad BK, a team in the Swedish Hockey League, the country’s highest pro circuit, recalled the center.

That meant Asplund, then just 16 years old, would start competing against men.

“It’s a different type of game when you come up,” Asplund said last week following a …

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