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

Jhonas Enroth plans to return home to Sweden later this week. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres exploring options as lockout drags on

AMHERST – A deal had finally been reached. After two weeks of prodding from his friend, locked-out Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth agreed he would play one game for a local pizzeria’s beer league team.

On Tuesday, an excited Enroth announced the “one-game contract” to his more than 20,000 Twitter followers.

“Debut is tomorrow at 10 pm at Buff State,” he wrote.

Enroth tweeted again about an hour later.

“Alright. Agent just called. No game with ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek's stay in his native Austria could be brief. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Vanek heading to Austria

BUFFALO – It’s just temporary for now. Thomas Vanek’s contract with the Graz 99ers, a team in the winger’s native Austria, only runs until Nov. 4.

Nonetheless, Vanek’s decision to return home during the lockout is already a big deal. He’s the first Austrian NHL player to sign a deal there.

The Sabres star, a sporting icon in Austria, has never played professionally in his country.

“This is just huge,” said Chris Schleifer, the online ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno established himself as a top NHL talent late last season. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres stuck in Rochester trying to embrace unique opportunity

BUFFALO – They’re back for another unexpected AHL run, kicked to the minors again by the NHL lockout.

Marcus Foligno dominated at times during his late-season recall, compiling six goals and 13 points in a rollicking 12-game stretch. By mid-March, the winger had become a star and a Sabres fan favorite.

Center Cody Hodgson, meanwhile, established himself as a regular last year, scoring 19 goals while setting a league record for road appearances.

Both would ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek is only considering playing in his native Austria. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Vanek thinking about taking game home to Austria

AMHERST – Right now, Thomas Vanek’s a bit torn. Like the other Sabres, the winger simply wants to play NHL games. But Vanek might have the most intriguing option of any locked-out player.

Vanek can return home to play in his native Austria, where he’s a national hero. The 28-year-old has never played professionally at home. He left for North America 14 years ago.

His arrival would be a huge deal.

“It would be a ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville plans to play an exhibition game tonight in Quebec. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Locked-out Sabres pursuing new jobs

AMHERST – Following another informal skate Wednesday, Jason Pominville packed up his hockey equipment, hopped in the car and drove home seven hours to Montreal.

It’s that hard for the locked out NHL players to find a game these days.

The Sabres captain said he’ll play tonight in the Quebec Caravan League, a charity exhibition series pitting players from Montreal against others from around the province. The contests should resemble intense shinny, he said.

His ... Read the full article

Mark Mancari's new AHL contract will allow him to bypass waivers. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres ink 5 to AHL deals

BUFFALO – The Rochester Americans have signed five players under two-way contracts to AHL deals.

The separate contracts allowed the players – goalie Dave Leggio, defensemen T.J. Brennan, Joe Finley and Drew Schiestel and winger Mark Mancari – to bypass waivers from the Sabres to the minors during a special period the NHL created earlier this month prior to the lockout.

The Amerks begin training camp later this week.... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis can't wait to begin playing in Switzerland. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ennis heading to Switzerland for lockout

BUFFALO – Tyler Ennis couldn’t pass up what he called a “perfect opportunity.”

Instead of skating daily at a local rink waiting for the NHL lockout to end, the slick Sabres center is heading to Switzerland to play for the SCL Tigers, a team in the country’s top hockey division, National League A. Minnesota defenseman Jared Spurgeon, Ennis’ best friend, will be joining him.

“I have a good opportunity to stay in game shape,” Ennis ... Read the full article