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December, 2012 Monthly archive
T.J. Brennan already has 12 goals this season. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – In the coming weeks, if the NHL and the Players’ Association hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement, the Sabres will convene for an abbreviated training camp and begin molding a six-man defense corps from a stacked group that stretches more than 10 deep.

The Sabres boast eight NHL defensemen after acquiring Adam Pardy from Dallas this summer. Eleven defenders in the organization appeared in the big leagues last season, including T.J. Brennan, who’s producing at a clip rarely …

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Marcus Foligno scored the overtime winner in Wednesday's wild 7-6 win. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – So, about those two wild 7-6 games between the Rochester Americans and the Lake Erie Monsters recently.

The Sabres’ AHL affiliate rallied from three three-goal deficits Dec. 13 in Cleveland. Then, incredibly, the Amerks rallied again late Wednesday in Rochester, forcing overtime before Marcus Foligno won it.

Don’t expect another goal bonanza tonight inside the First Niagara Center.

“They’re going to be pretty (ticked) off they blew a couple leads there,” said Amerks defenseman T.J. Brennan, who had five points Wednesday. …

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Jake McCabe has nine points in 16 games with the University of Wisconsin. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Jake McCabe has been named captain for Team USA’s entry in the 2013 world junior championship in Ufa, Russia.

The 19-year-old defenseman, the 44th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, has two goals, nine points and 18 penalty minutes in 16 games with the University of Wisconsin this season.

The Sabres had the sophomore rated as a first-round choice.

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Steve Ott wants the NHL to bring its players a new offer. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

AMHERST – Forget that no drop-dead date to save the NHL season has been set 98 days into the lockout. Whether anyone acknowledges it, with Christmas and 2013 quickly approaching, the clock is beginning to tick loudly.

“A deal better be done in the next 10 days, or I guess you can say the league will just lock the doors again like they did (by canceling the season) in ’04 and continue to ruin the reputation of hockey,” Sabres winger Steve …

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Seats in NHL arenas could stay empty the entire season. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Seven more Sabres contests were erased with the NHL’s sixth round of game cancellations today. With all games through Jan. 14 canceled, 42 Sabres tilts – 51.2 percent of their 82-game schedule – have been axed 96 days into the lockout.

The league has now canceled 625 games, a shocking 50.8 percent of the season.

Sadly, the next set of cancellations could be the biggest – the rest of the season.

While no drop-dead date has been set, mid-January would probably …

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Mikhail Grigorenko already has 29 goals and 50 points in 30 games. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Some interesting news out of Quebec, where some media outlets have reported slick Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko will stay with the QMJHL’s Remparts for the entire season.

Sabres general manager Darcy Regier had said the Russian center, the 12th overall pick in June’s NHL Entry Draft, would be given “every opportunity” to make the big leagues.

Of course, back then another lockout seemed unimaginable. Training camp will be abbreviated if it ever begins. Who knows if the Sabres would even …

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Jason Pominville already has four goals in four DEL games. ©2012, Soerli Binder, Adler Mannheim
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Will more Sabres go overseas? Could some go back?

You bet.

If the NHL lockout drags on, expect to see more players bolt for Europe. They desperately want to stay sharp. Some haven’t played games now in eight or nine months.

Of course, going overseas has its drawbacks. Most of the good leagues are filled up, leaving only second-tier (or lower) jobs available. Some leagues pay paltry salaries. Many teams are isolated. Some players leave their families, too.

For some, it’s just …

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Jordan Leopold wouldn't talk about the NHL Players' Association's possible disclaimer of interest. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

AMHERST – So, what about that vote the NHL Players’ Association is holding this week, the one that would give the union’s executive board the power to file a disclaimer of interest, which would dissolve the NHLPA and allow players to sue the NHL?

“I’m not going to comment on that,” defenseman Jordan Leopold, the Buffalo Sabres’ union representative, said Monday after skating inside the Northtown Center. “That’s all legal matters.”

Yup, legal matters. The courts are now involved in the 94-day …

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Cody Hodgson has 10 points in nine games this season. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

Our friend Kevin Oklobzija reports Rochester Americans center Cody Hodgson will return tonight from the broken bone in his right hand that’s sidelined him since Nov. 2.

The 22-year-old was injured Oct. 27 and made one more appearance before sitting 14 games.

Hodgson, who’s been kicked back to the AHL by the NHL lockout, dominated early this season, compiling nine assists and 10 points in nine games.

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Tyler Ennis (left) played 10 games in Switzerland. ©2012, Peter Eggimann, SCL Tigers
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Tyler Ennis experienced his first bit of Swiss culture shock one day during lunch, when the soup du jour the locked-out Sabres center ordered tasted “a little bit funky.”

“The (waitress) asked me if I knew what I was eating,” Ennis told the Times Herald on Thursday. “I said no, and then she came back with a pig nose on the plate, and she said, ‘This is what you’re eating.’ That was a little a little bit of culture …

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