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Christian Ehrhoff will be a free agent again in a year. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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Former Buffalo Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff lasted less than 10 minutes on the open market, signing a one-year, $4 million deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins early this afternoon.

The Sabres bought out the final seven seasons of the German’s 10-year, $40 million contract Sunday.

It’s a win-win deal for Ehrhoff. He’s joining a slick, superstar-laden Penguins club expected to compete for the Stanley Cup. He’ll get plenty of ice time with superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Ehrhoff posted huge numbers playing with …

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Drew Stafford and the Sabres play Oct. 11 in Chicago and host the Blackhawks on April 3. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres’ 2014-15 schedule will get busy in a hurry, with the Oct. 9 season opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets inside the First Niagara Center starting a stretch of 11 games in 22 days. They then play 14 games in November, their most active month.

Two home games against superstar Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins, a Dec. 9 visit from the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and an April 3 contest against South Buffalo native Patrick …

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Sidney Crosby and the Penguins visit twice, Nov. 8 and the April 11 season finale. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Two home games against superstar Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins, a Dec. 9 visit from the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and an April 3 contest against South Buffalo native Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks are among the highlights of the 82-game 2014-15 Sabres schedule released today.

The Sabres open at home Oct. 9 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, starting a busy stretch of 11 games in 22 days.

They play a season-high 14 games in November …

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Thomas Vanek played 47 games with the New York Islanders before getting traded to Montreal. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

The New York Islanders will be keeping the No. 5 pick in June’s NHL Entry Draft and giving the Buffalo Sabres their first-round selection next year to complete the Thomas Vanek trade, the club announced today.

The Isles had until June 1 to decide.

There had been some speculation the Isles would want to have their 2015 pick for a chance at Connor McDavid, arguably the biggest prospect since Sidney Crosby.

The Sabres now have three 2015 first-round picks. In addition to their …

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The Sabres could draft Sam Reinhart this June. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Chalk up one more loss for the Sabres this season.

The rebuilding club couldn’t retain the No. 1 overall pick during Tuesday’s NHL Draft Lottery in Toronto. Instead, the Florida Panthers moved up one spot to the top selection.

The Sabres will pick second in June. Thanks to their 30th ranking this season, the Sabres had a 25 percent chance of keeping the top pick, more than any other team. The Panthers had an 18.8 percent chance.

Earlier Tuesday, Sabres general …

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Ryan Miller (30) tries to stop Pittsburgh's Brandon Sutter with Mike Weber (6) behind him Wednesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Wednesday wasn’t an Olympic audition for goalie Ryan Miller, Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said hours before his potent Penguins throttled the hapless Sabres 5-1. He’s judging Miller on his body of work, not one game.

Bylsma, Team USA’s coach for the upcoming Sochi Games, knows what most NHL observers know: Miller’s played splendidly most of the season under the most trying of circumstances.

The Sabres’ third straight loss illustrated that. Once again, they couldn’t support Miller, an unrestricted free agent …

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Tyler Ennis skates Wednesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Tyler Ennis said he recently stopped thinking on the ice. That isn’t a bad thing, though. The slick Sabres center has just been playing more instinctively under interim coach Ted Nolan, allowing his natural talents to take over these past few months.

It’s showing on the score sheet. With an assist on Drew Stafford’s first-period goal in Wednesday’s 5-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ennis has four goals and 12 points in the last 13 games.

“That’s the biggest thing. …

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Chad Ruhwedel sat last game. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers will likely miss tonight’s tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins after leaving Monday’s game early.

Myers (lower body) didn’t participate in the Sabres’ optional skate this morning. The 24-year-old could play Thursday in Ottawa, interim coach Ted Nolan said.

“It doesn’t look very good for tonight,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. “Hopefully, he’ll be ready for tomorrow.”

Defenseman Chad Ruhwedel, a healthy scratch last game, will return. Center Zenon Konopka and winger Ville Leino will be …

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Ryan Miller played his first game in Buffalo on Nov. 22, 2002. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Forget about the Olympics for a moment. Forget that Sabres goalie Ryan Miller will be playing in front of Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma tonight, a final chance to impress his bench boss at the upcoming Sochi Games.

Tonight could be Miller’s last appearance with the Sabres inside the First Niagara Center.

Rosters freeze 3 p.m. Friday for the NHL’s two-week Olympic break. The trade deadline hits one month from today.

Miller, an unrestricted free agent following the season, still hasn’t …

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Zenon Konopka experienced something different this morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – OK, so why was Zenon Konopka watching brain surgery this morning? The Sabres center tweeted a photo of himself wearing scrubs and a surgical mask and wrote, “Most interesting morning in a long time … Brain Surgery #unreal #frontrowseat #wow.”

Konopka’s charity of choice, Keith Primeau’s “Stop Concussions,” told him about the neurological department next to Buffalo General and Dr. Elad Levy, a world-renowned brain surgeon who’s also a hockey fan.

“He said he’s a hockey fan and said I …

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