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Mike Kostka played two seasons with the Sabres' old affiliate in Portland. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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TORONTO – Mike Kostka was one day away from ditching his NHL dream, all set to take a gig playing overseas.

The 27-year-old Maple Leafs rookie couldn’t find any good work in North America. Despite two solid seasons with the Buffalo Sabres’ top affiliate in Portland, the team hadn’t tendered the defenseman a contract in 2010, making him a free agent.

Then Kostka’s friend, an AHL player named Marco Rosa, stopped over Kostka’s home a day before he planned to depart for …

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Cody Hodgson will return to the Sabres after the lockout ends. ©2012, Janet Schultz, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – With an NHL lockout likely hitting at midnight tonight, the Sabres loaned 20 AHL-eligible players, including forwards Marcus Foligno and Cody Hodgson, to the Rochester Americans on Friday.

Also assigned were: forwards Luke Adam, Riley Boychuk, Brian Flynn, Zemgus Girgensons, Jacob Lagace, Jonathan Parker, Kevin Sundher, Shawn Szydlowski, Corey Tropp, Phil Varone; defensemen Alex Biega, Nick Crawford, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, Matt MacKenzie, Brayden McNabb, Mark Pysyk; goalies Connor Knapp and Nathan Lieuwen.The Sabres also sent forwards Kevin Porter and Nick …

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