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Ted Black (left) and Tim Murray discuss the Sabres' tumultuous weekend Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – A Sabres icon bolted less than four months after returning to the team he loved. The franchise goalie and captain got traded.

The Sabres just endured perhaps the most trying weekend in their 43-year history. That was before the popular coach sounded like he might want to leave.

“It’s a lot for our fans to swallow in a short amount of time,” Sabres president Ted Black said Sunday, a day after Pat LaFontaine abruptly resigned as president of hockey operations.

Black …

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Ted Black (left) and Tim Murray address the media this afternoon. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Sabres president Ted Black understands Pat LaFontaine’s stunning resignation as president of hockey operations  creates uncertainty for a team that had finally seemed to stabilize itself.

“It’s something that fans are going to be upset by,” Black said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center, a day after LaFontaine abruptly bolted from the organization after less than four months.

Still, Black said, LaFontaine was only one person.

“I don’t know if it impacts the greater mission and will deter us,” he …

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Pat LaFontaine smiles Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The old school part of hockey, Pat LaFontaine said, is earning your keep. There has to be a standard. Players must perform consistently once they crack the NHL.

LaFontaine, a Hockey Hall of Famer, skated on the fourth line as a teenage NHL phenom. Legendary New York Islanders coach Al Arbour wouldn’t let him take a defensive-zone faceoff for years.

Former general manager Darcy Regier gave 19-year-old Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko a roster spot during the summer. The team’s new …

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Steve Ott, shown here wearing a gold practice jersey, helped the Sabres reveil their new third game jersey. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
7

BUFFALO – The Sabres will wear their gold third jersey for the first of 10 home games Sunday against the Detroit Red Wings.

That’s 10 of the 29 remaining games inside the First Niagara Center, Sabres fans. Ten!

Fans immediately panned the two-tone jersey, which features gold as the primary for the first time in team history, after Sabres captain Steve Ott unveiled it via Twitter on Sept. 4.

Reaction has been so harsh many have been wondering if the struggling Sabres would …

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Darcy Regier is putting the Stanley Cup, the ultimate goal, ahead of simply reaching the postseason. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres want their rabid fan base to understand something, general manager Darcy Regier said. The organization’s new philosophy – one that embraces building for a Stanley Cup, not simply making the playoffs – could require some suffering.

“We have gone with more determination in a very distinct direction, which is about the Stanley Cup,” Regier said Monday during a contentious and even bizarre 46-minute season-ending news conference inside the First Niagara Center. “So I feel good about it. …

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Ted Black jabbed with reporters Monday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
4

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ season-ending news conference Monday started innocently enough.

Sabres president Ted Black said Darcy Regier would be returning as general manager. Regier talked about interim coach Ron Rolston’s future, which will be determined later.

But that tranquility only lasted briefly. The atmosphere inside the cramped First Niagara Center press room quickly became contentious.

Within minutes, reporters started hammering Black on the Sabres’ decision to announce their 4 percent season-ticket increase on Friday, Fan Appreciation Night. Black was accused of taking …

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Darcy Regier said his goal is to win a Stanley Cup, not simply make the postseason. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres want their rabid fan base to understand something, general manager Darcy Regier said. The organization’s new philosophy – one that embraces building for a Stanley Cup, not simply making the playoffs – could require some suffering.

“We have gone with more determination in a very distinct direction, which is about the Stanley Cup,” Regier said this afternoon during a contentious and even bizarre 46-minute season-ending news conference inside the First Niagara Center. “So I feel good about …

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Jhonas Enroth played well down the stretch. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – After 45 NHL starts, Sabres backup Jhonas Enroth believes he’s ready to assume regular duty. The 24-year-old wants to be a No. 1 goalie badly.

There’s just one problem.

“Ryan’s the starter here,” Enroth said Saturday as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers inside the First Niagara Center.

But how much longer will Ryan Miller be the starter?

It’s widely believed the Sabres will try to trade the franchise goalie following their disappointing 12th-place finish.

That could leave Enroth, the No. 2 the …

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Tyler Myers struggled much of this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers said the season-ending hairline fracture he suffered in his left leg April 11 “could’ve been a blessing in disguise.”

The injury allowed the 23-year-old to spend a few weeks working with the team’s strength and conditioning staff.

“(We) just had a lot of talks about what was expected, what was needed,” Myers said Saturday as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers inside the First Niagara Center. “It’s just more preparation going into the offseason.”

Myers, 6-foot-8 and …

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Lindy Ruff began coaching the Sabres in 1997. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Darcy Regier walked in looking shaken. The Sabres general manager broke down a couple times while discussing the difficult decision to fire his close friend Lindy Ruff, the NHL’s longest-tenured coach.

Regier and Ruff had been synonymous with each other since 1997, when a rookie GM gave a young coaching prospect his dream job. Together, they experienced all the highs and lows of the NHL, somehow managing to keep their gigs despite limited success in recent seasons.

But Wednesday afternoon, …

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