Training Camp Edition

Archive:
Campbell

Kyle Okposo will sign a lucrative contract. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The pickings are so slim in NHL free agency this year, perhaps the most coveted player available, Kyle Okposo, has never cracked the 30-goal or 70-point marks.

Okposo, of course, is a talented winger. The Minnesota native is coming off a 22-goal, 64-point season with the New York Islanders. He has 139 goals and 369 points in 529 NHL games over nine years, including three 20-goal seasons and two 60-point campaigns.

Yes, Okposo has been productive over the years. But …

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Brian Campbell should hit 1,000 games in April. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – More than 12 years later, the number is seared into Brian Campbell’s memory. It is a part of the popular former Sabres defenseman. After a Stanley Cup and multiple NHL All-Star appearances, it still motivates the Florida Panthers standout as he approaches a prestigious milestone.

Back in 2003-04, Campbell’s fifth NHL season, the youngster couldn’t crack the Sabres’ less-than-stellar defense corps, regularly serving as a spare part.

“I don’t forget how many healthy scratches I had,” Campbell said Tuesday prior …

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Jaromir Jagr played his first game in Buffalo more than 25 years ago. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Late Monday, around 10:30 or 11:30 p.m., as many of his Florida Panthers teammates were probably turning in for the night, 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr was allegedly inside the First Niagara Center working out.

“Our cameras caught him,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said Tuesday prior to Jagr’s 87th career appearance against Buffalo, a 5-1 Panthers win in which the Czech scored his 736th NHL goal.

As Jagr has grown older, his legend has only increased. He’s leading the upstart Panthers in …

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Lindy Ruff's Stars lead the NHL with 15 wins. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – A scorching start buoyed by the NHL’s best offense. Young superstar talent. Terrific depth.

When did the Dallas Stars’ Lindy Ruff have all that before? Nine years ago, when Ruff coached a slick young Sabres team to the 2006-07 Eastern Conference final following a 113-point regular season.

Back then, Ruff had a stacked club led by co-captains Daniel Briere and Chris Drury and young talent like Brian Campbell, Ryan Miller, Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek.

These days, Ruff has reigning scoring …

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Randy Cunneyworth talks Wednesday. ©2015, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
4

ROCHESTER – For three years, wherever Randy Cunneyworth went, he was asked the same question.

“I don’t think there was a person I came across that didn’t mention, ‘Are you going to get back into coaching or not?’” Cunneyworth recalled Wednesday after being introduced as the Rochester Americans’ new coach inside the Blue Cross War Memorial.

Cunneyworth enjoyed his player development job with the Buffalo Sabres – “I’m into whatever I’m doing,” he said – but coaching was “always prevalent on my …

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Randy Cunneyworth was Montreal's interim coach for 50 games in 2011-12. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – As the summer dragged on and the Rochester Americans’ coaching job remained open, one name kept popping up in rumors: Randy Cunneyworth, who had coached the Sabres’ AHL affiliate for eight seasons before moving up to the NHL.

Cunneyworth appeared to be the logical choice. The 54-year-old, a noted talent developer, was already a special assistant and a player development coach with the Amerks. He’s familiar with Buffalo’s prospects and the organization.

Sure enough, the Sabres general manager Tim Murray …

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Joe Cecconi couldn't hide his excitement Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

SUNRISE, Fla. – Youngstown native Joe Cecconi said he started getting “a little bit scared” as the NHL Draft wore on Saturday. The defense prospect still hadn’t been picked almost halfway through the fifth round.

“I was like something might not happen, I might not get chosen,” a smiling Cecconi said after the Dallas Stars selected him 133rd overall inside the BB&T Center. “But seeing Dallas was up and they called my name, the dream has started.”

Cecconi, who spent last season …

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Brian Campbell joined Florida in 2011. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Don’t tell 35-year-old former Sabres All-Star Brian Campbell he’s the oldest member of the Florida Panthers.

“No, no, no, no,” Campbell said Friday prior to the Panthers’ 2-0 win against the Sabres inside the First Niagara Center. “I’m not even top two. I’m third. I might even be later.”

Campbell then turned to Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo.

“Louie, what month were you born in?” he asked.

Luongo replied he was born in April.

“Ah, see, I’m fourth,” said Campbell, who was born May …

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Mikhail Grigorenko sat again Thursday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – In past world junior championship appearances, Sabres center Mikhail Grigorenko said he would’ve been concentrating solely on his offensive game.

“I didn’t really think about defense or penalty kills or faceoffs or winning battles,” the 19-year-old prospect said Thursday prior to sitting out the Sabres’ 2-1 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers as a healthy scratch.

But Grigorenko feels he’s evolving. This year, while scoring five goals and eight points in seven games as Russia won bronze, he played differently.

“I …

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John Scott has scored one NHL goal. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The home crowd reacts immediately. For a moment or two, the First Niagara Center starts buzzing.

John Scott has the puck around the net. The hulking Sabres tough guy just might score.

Scott’s second NHL goal would be celebrated wildly, generate some cheer during an otherwise glum season.

The fans want to see this badly.

“I want it just as bad,” Scott said Friday. “I can tell it’s kind of an anticipation happening. Hopefully, it happens. If not now, then in the …

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