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Development Camp
Frederick Roy once gave up hockey for acting. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Three years ago, Sabres prospect Frederick Roy bolted from the game he loved, all the way to Hollywood. The teenager needed a mental break, wanted to find a new passion.

Thousands of miles from home and about a million more from hockey, Roy immersed himself in acting.

The son of Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy hired a manager, went on auditions and took classes. He even landed a small role as a background actor in a Disney commercial.

“It was …

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Development camp showed Zemgus Girgensons he belonged in professional hockey. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Three weeks earlier, minutes after the Sabres moved up and selected center Zemgus Girgensons 14th overall at the NHL Entry Draft, the Latvian expressed his commitment to playing for the University of Vermont next season.

But Girgensons’ stance quickly changed. On Monday, the first day of summer development camp, he seemed to be seriously considering signing with the Sabres.

The 18-year-old impressed during the camp, and following a strong scrimmage performance Thursday night, he said he hoped to make a …

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Darcy Regier said Derek Roy elected to undergo shoulder surgery. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Dallas Stars’ decision to have Derek Roy undergo shoulder surgery and miss four months doesn’t mean the Sabres traded damaged goods, general manager Darcy Regier cautioned.

If the Sabres hadn’t dealt Roy for winger Steve Ott and defenseman Adam Pardy last week, the center, who was originally hurt last preseason, wouldn’t have underwent the procedure.

“We’re very confident in the decision by our medical staff,” Regier said Thursday inside the First Niagara Center during the second intermission of a …

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Jerome Gauthier-Leduc piled up goals during his junior career. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Jerome Gauthier-Leduc was scoring goals from everywhere. The slick Rimouski Oceanic defenseman utilized his deadly accurate shots from the point. He used his teammates as screens perfectly. He pinched in as the extra man on the rush.

By October, the Sabres prospect had a goal in eight straight games, a new QMJHL record for defensemen.

“He’s a flashy guy,” said former Sabres defenseman Philippe Boucher, Rimouski’s general manager. “He likes to carry the puck. He likes to make a lot …

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Zemgus Girgensons' junior teammates unanimously voted him captain. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Jim Montgomery put it up for a vote, so after his Dubuque Fighting Saints won the United States Hockey League championship in 2011, he asked his returning players to pick a new captain.

In addition to three 20-year-olds, the coach had a 19-year-old who played prominent minutes back for another season of junior hockey.

Incredibly, Montgomery’s players passed on the veterans, instead picking a 17-year-old Latvian to captain them.

His name was Zemgus Girgensons, and about a year earlier he had …

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©2012
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The wake-up call came at 4:30 a.m., 15 minutes before sunrise Monday. Right away, United States Navy Seals instructors told 39 Sabres prospects to make their beds.

“That was the first time I’ve done that in a while,” winger Marcus Foligno joked.

The youngsters then got in a “proper line format,” going from tallest to shortest. By 5 a.m., they had reached a local beach, where they spent the next two hours swimming in the lake and doing crunches, push-ups, …

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