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November, 2012 Monthly archive
Jason Pominville's joining his childhood friend, Yanick Lehoux, in Mannheim. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

AMHERST – Buffalo Sabres captain Jason Pominville’s heading to the Mannheim Eagles of the DEL in Germany to play during the NHL lockout, he told the Times Herald today.

“If it does get settled quick, then I’ll be able to skate for a few weeks, a month – whatever it is,” Pominville said after skating inside the Northtown Center. “It’ll be a mini training camp. And if not, I’ll have a team for the rest of the season. I think it’s …

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Jason Pominville hopes mediation will bring new ideas to negotiations between the NHL and the NHL Players' Association. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

AMHERST – Mediation can’t hurt, right? Heck, with the NHL lockout now 75 days old, the league and the NHL Players’ Association desperately need something new to help jumpstart negotiations.

Why not get a third party involved?

That finally happened Wednesday at an undisclosed location, as the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service began overseeing negotiations between the league and the NHLPA.

“Hopefully, he can (lend) his opinion and bring some new ideas and make both sides understand you got to give and you …

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Steve Ott believes NHL fans have a right to be angry. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Seventy days later, the NHL lockout has claimed 422 games, including 27 Sabres tilts after the league made its third round of cancellations Friday.

With no negotiating sessions scheduled and Wednesday’s new offer by the NHL Players’ Association – one the union has said is about as good as the players will make – dismissed quickly, it’s fair to wonder if the 2012-13 season will even be played.

In Steve Ott’s mind, the damage sustained each day of the work …

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Steve Ott thinks the NHL could become a second-tier sports league. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – I just chatted with outspoken Sabres winger Steve Ott moments before the NHL canceled games through Dec. 14. Ott’s been a pretty vocal critic of the lockout, and he didn’t mince words today.

Here are some quick highlights:

On the NHL losing its place on the sporting landscape:

“The NHL (is) falling into almost a second-tier league compared to the NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball. I think they’re starting to accomplish taking hockey to a second-tier league, which is extremely …

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Teppo Numminen represented Finland in four Olympics. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Former Sabres defenseman and current assistant coach Teppo Numminen, who won three Olympic medals representing his native Finland, will be inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in May.

His father, Kalevi, was inducted as a builder 2011. The two will become the first father-son duo in the Hall of Fame.

Numminen played in four Olympics, winning silver in 1988 Calgary, bronze in 1998 in Nagano and silver in 2006 in Turin. He also played in four …

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Thomas Vanek recently returned to Buffalo following a scorching run at home in Austria. ©2012, Christian Bruna, www.christianbruna.at
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – So far, eight Sabres – about one-third of the roster – have taken temporary (or maybe not-so-temporary) European gigs during the NHL lockout. If the stoppage drags on, expect more to bolt overseas. Some Sabres have said they’ll look for work if there’s no agreement reached by Christmas or the beginning of 2013.

Remember, players aren’t going to Europe for the money. Most are receiving a pittance of what they should be getting paid in the NHL. These guys …

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Drew Schiestel made only three appearances with Rochester this season. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Defenseman Drew Schiestel, a former second-round pick and AHL All-Star who was once on the verge of a recall to the Sabres, has been assigned from the AHL to the ECHL.

The Rochester Americans also sent defenseman Matt MacKenzie to the Greenville Road Warriors today.

The 23-year-old Schiestel, the 59th overall pick in 2007, earned an AHL All-Star berth with the Portland Pirates in 2010-11 and was thought to be the Sabres’ top defense prospect.

But Schiestel tore his ACL two …

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Jaroslav Spacek signed with Montreal in 2009 after three seasons with the Sabres. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Former Sabres defenseman Jaroslav Spacek has retired from the NHL after 13 seasons, according to a report in his native Czech Republic.

The 38-year-old played three seasons with the Sabres, compiling 22 goals, 98 points and a plus-29 rating in 205 games from 2006-09.

Following a slow acclimation after signing as a free agent from Edmonton, Spacek became an offensive threat, a minute-muncher and a team leader.

Spacek had nine goals and 32 points in 2007-08 and eight tallies and 45 …

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Mike Weber's the eighth Sabre to sign a European contract. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Mike Weber has signed a contract to play with a Norwegian team in Lorenskog during the NHL lockout, according to a report.

Weber’s the eighth Sabre to sign overseas since the work stoppage began 62 days ago.

Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, center Tyler Ennis, goalie Jhonas Enroth, defensemen Tyler Myers, Andrej Sekera and Alexander Sulzer and winger Thomas Vanek all signed European deals earlier. Vanek recently returned home.

The 24-year-old Weber compiled one goal, five points, 64 penalty minutes and …

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Jordan Leopold thinks last week's CBA negotiations restored some optimism to the process. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

AMHERST – What the heck happens now? NHL labor talks finally appeared to be turning a corner last week, with a string of “secret” marathon negotiating sessions raising optimism a deal could be struck in the near future.

Both sides remained tight-lipped. They plowed through session and after session.

Then the collective bargaining agreement talks crumbled again. Sniping between the NHL and the Players’ Association has resumed.

“I think last week with us talking brought some optimism back,” Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jordan Leopold, …

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