Drew Stafford still remains optimistic NHL hockey will be played this season. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

NHL’s month of game cancellations frustrates Sabres

AMHERST – Now the NHL has canceled all of its games through November, including 11 more Buffalo Sabres contests. Twenty Sabres tilts – 24.4 percent of the 82-game slate – have been axed 42 days into the lockout.

All together, the NHL’s second lockout since 2004-05 has claimed 326 games, a whopping 26.5 percent of the league’s schedule.

It’s almost impossible to argue any other way: Friday was a dark day for hockey. An ... Read the full article

A shoulder injury has sidelined Tyler Ennis six games. ©2012, Peter Eggimann, SCL Tigers

Your European Sabres update

BUFFALO – Here are some quick updates on the Sabres currently biding their time playing in various European leagues during the NHL lockout. Expect more to trickle overseas as the work stoppage drags on and more games get canceled.

Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, Krefeld Penguins, DEL, Germany

The German, who played for Krefeld prior to his North American career, has six goals, 10 points, 16 penalty minutes and a plus-5 rating in 11 games.

Center ... Read the full article

Mark Mancari re-signed with the Sabres in July. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Amerks’ Mancari hoping second stint with Sabres more successful

BUFFALO – You can’t turn down a one-way contract, Mark Mancari said. No way. Not when you’ve been making around $50,000 most of your career in the minors.

So when the Vancouver Canucks guaranteed him $525,000 as free agency opened in 2011, the high-scoring winger left the Sabres organization after six seasons.

“You go. You don’t think too much about it,” Mancari said Tuesday inside the First Niagara Center prior to the Rochester Americans’ 3-1 ... Read the full article

Kevin Porter has played 163 NHL games. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Amerks’ Porter making best of new AHL stint

ROCHESTER – Kevin Porter, the former NCAA superstar, had finally established himself as an NHL regular after shuttling between the big leagues and minors for two years. In 2010-11, the 26-year-old played 74 games with the Colorado Avalanche, scoring 14 goals.

By last October, however, the Rochester Americans’ new captain had already become a spare part.

Incredibly, the Avs scratched Porter 43 times last season.

The forward played poorly defensively, never showcased enough physicality and ... Read the full article

Robyn Regehr attended Thursday's brief CBA negotiating session. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Regehr disappointed CBA talks quickly fizzled

AMHERST – On Thursday in Toronto, the NHL Players’ Association submitted three counter proposals it believed could help end a lockout now in its 35th day. The union claimed each hit the 50-50 hockey-related revenue split the NHL has demanded, a possible breakthrough in the contentious negotiations.

The NHL examined the offers for 10 minutes, and then rejected them. The sides spoke for a few more minutes before departing.

Any cautious optimism ignited by ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville wants to hear more details of the NHL's proposal to end the lockout. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres hope NHL’s offer leads to serious CBA talks

AMHERST – Like other players, Buffalo Sabres captain Jason Pominville heard some positive vibes when he learned the NHL had submitted a new, revamped collective bargaining agreement proposal to the NHL Players’ Association on Tuesday.

The 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue, down from 57 percent for the players under the old CBA, seemed fair and logical to some outside observers. The NBA and NFL both allocated money similarly following lockouts last year. The NHL’s ... Read the full article

Corey Tropp was injured late in Friday's season-opening win. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Tropp likely done for season

BUFFALO – Corey Tropp, a ferocious third-year winger who became a Sabres regular late last season, will likely miss the rest of the 2012-13 campaign after suffering ligament damage in his right knee.

Tropp told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle he damaged the medial collateral ligament and anterior cruciate ligament Friday late in the Rochester Americans’ 6-5 season-opening AHL win over the Syracuse Crunch.

The MCL can heal through rehabilitation. He’ll eventually need ACL surgery, ... Read the full article

Tyler Myers will join Sabres teammate Thomas Vanek in Austria. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Myers signs deal to play in Austria

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers has signed a contract to play with Klagenfurter AC in Austria’s Erste Bank Eishockey Liga during the NHL lockout.

Myers expressed an interest in playing overseas before the work stoppage began Sept. 15. He’ll be playing in the same league Sabres winger Thomas Vanek recently joined.

Myers is the fifth Sabre to sign with a European club. Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff (Germany), center Tyler Ennis (Switzerland) and defenseman Andrej Sekera ... Read the full article

Mark Pysyk blocks a shot in his professional debut Friday. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

With Sabres’ ‘amazing’ opening night gone, attention has turned to Rochester

ROCHESTER – The 42nd opening night in Buffalo Sabres history would’ve been “huge,” winger Drew Stafford said, even “amazing.” New seasons breed hope and optimism, and if the NHL lockout wasn’t in its 28th day, both would be sweeping through Buffalo right now.

The club was scheduled to host Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight inside a capacity First Niagara Center.

The Sabres, healthy and stocked with offseason reinforcements, might’ve been considered ... Read the full article

Steve Ott believes the lockout could erase the momentum the NHL generated over seven years. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

NHL cancels 82 games, including 5 Sabres tilts

BUFFALO – The NHL lockout has now claimed regular-season games, with 82 over the first two weeks – including five Sabres contests – getting canceled Thursday.

With recent collective bargaining agreement talks going nowhere and no new sessions scheduled, more games will almost certainly be wiped out soon.

Sadly, this could only be the beginning. The work stoppage hits the three-week mark Sunday.

“I am shocked, yeah, in essence because … the guys are willing ... Read the full article