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
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
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
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
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
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
BUFFALO – The NHL lockout has forced the cancellation of all preseason games through Sept. 30, knocking four of the Sabres’ seven contests off the slate.
Sabres games canceled are: Monday at Montreal; home Wednesday against Boston; home Sept. 28 against Toronto; Sept. 29 at Toronto.
The Sabres plan to contact ticket holders with refund information for the canceled First Niagara Center games.
The NHL’s third lockout since 1994 began Sunday.... Read the full article
AMHERST – Now they’re officially on their own, locked out and barred from any contact with the organization. About 12 Buffalo Sabres regulars skated with some prospects Monday morning inside the Northtown Center, the first of possibly dozens of practices without a regular coaching staff.
The team employees who had recently assisted with informal skates have left. Other than the Sabres logo on their jerseys, something the players could soon ditch, the symbol has almost ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The eight goals and 19 points Tyler Ennis generated over a rollicking 12-game stretch late last season could just be a harbinger, he believes. The center’s March exploits might’ve signaled the first signs of his impending superstardom.
“I think I’m ready to explode,” Ennis said Sunday, a day after signing a two-year, $5.625 million contract hours before the NHL lockout started.
Of course, Ennis and the Sabres can’t even play right now.
Instead ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres finally signed restricted free agent Tyler Ennis on Saturday, hours before the NHL locked out the players at midnight.
When the slick center will begin earning his two-year, $5.625 million contract is unclear. With no negotiations ongoing, the work stoppage could be a long one.
As 12 a.m. loomed, teams went on last-minute spending sprees, awarding more than $61 million in new contracts.
Ennis’ short deal – something Sabres general manager ... Read the full article