Training Camp Edition

Archive:
Drury

Ryan O'Reilly leads the Sabres in goals and points. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Right away, everything has clicked for center Ryan O’Reilly. In just half a season here, the 24-year-old has quickly become the Sabres’ MVP and perhaps their most popular player.

O’Reilly plays more minutes than any other NHL forward. He leads the Sabres in scoring and has 17 points in the last 17 games. No one in the league has taken more faceoffs. Following losses, he regularly takes responsibility for his performance and passionately says he needs to be better.

Not …

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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
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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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Daniel Briere had a short but dynamic run with the Sabres. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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Daniel Briere, the popular high-scoring center and clutch co-captain of two powerhouse Buffalo Sabres teams, has retired from the NHL.

The 37-year-old announced the end of his 17-year career in a column in Le Droit, a French-Canadian newspaper. Read the article here and the translation here.

Briere knew the end was coming. During a Dec. 20 visit to Buffalo with the Colorado Avalanche, his third team in three seasons, he said he wanted to enjoy his remaining days in the NHL and …

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Chris Drury (right) played three seasons with the Sabres. ©2015, Janet Schultz, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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Former Buffalo Sabres co-captain Chris Drury has been elected to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, USA Hockey announced today.

Drury, 38, played three seasons in Buffalo, scoring 85 goals and 189 points in 244 games. The Sabres reached the Eastern Conference final in 2006 and 2007 before the center signed with the New York Rangers. He retired in 2011.

The Connecticut native represented Team USA at eight major international events, and won silver medals at two of his three Winter …

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Joe Cecconi couldn't hide his excitement Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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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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Jason Spezza joined Dallas in the summer. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Right away, Lindy Ruff and Jason Spezza buried the hatchet. For years, as Ruff coached the Sabres and Spezza starred for the Ottawa Senators, the two were adversaries.

At the height of the fierce post-lockout Sabres-Senators rivalry, Ruff sent Adam Mair on the ice to jump Spezza, a move that helped ignite the infamous 2007 brawl between the teams after Chris Neil leveled Sabres co-captain Chris Drury.

Spezza, who was dealt to Ruff’s Dallas Stars on July 1, brought up …

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Lindy Ruff talks to Patrick Eaves (18) today. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Right away, Lindy Ruff and Jason Spezza buried the hatchet. For years, as Ruff coached the Sabres and Spezza starred for the Ottawa Senators, the two were adversaries.

At the height of the fierce post-lockout Sabres-Senators rivalry, Ruff sent Adam Mair on the ice to jump Spezza, a move that helped ignite the infamous brawl between the teams after Sabres co-captain Chris Drury was injured.

Spezza, who was dealt to Ruff’s Dallas Stars on July 1, brought up getting jumped …

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Andrej Meszaros has been playing big minutes. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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TORONTO – Coach Ted Nolan noticed a little smirk on Andrej Meszaros’ face following the defenseman’s recent Buffalo Sabres debut.

Meszaros had just skated a whopping 29 minutes, 39 seconds in Tuesday’s 2-0 win against Carolina. The minutes felt like a warm welcome.

“It felt pretty good,” Meszaros said last week.

Meszaros, 28, hadn’t played that much in a 60-minute game since May 6, 2011. Back then, the Slovak had just been named Philadelphia’s top defenseman.

Then injuries – back, shoulder, torn Achilles – …

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Thomas Vanek played his first game back in Buffalo on Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Back in the summer, Thomas Vanek had a simple, straightforward question for the Sabres. The slick winger wanted to know what direction the team was going.

“No one really had an answer,” Vanek said Sunday prior to the Montreal Canadiens’ 2-0 win against Sabres, his first game back here. “That’s when I kind of made up my mind July 1 (unrestricted free agency) was probably a goal of mine.”

The Sabres, of course, traded Vanek, their co-captain, to the New …

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Steve Ott (9) and Thomas Vanek were named co-captains Tuesday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Shortly before noon Tuesday, the Sabres quickly streamed off the First Niagara Center ice following practice and walked to their dressing room. The metal door closed after all the players had entered.

Inside, coach Ron Rolston began addressing his team’s captaincy, which had remained vacant since the Sabres traded Jason Pominville in April.

Cheers emanated from the room a few minutes later. More applause could be heard shortly after that.

Instead of naming one captain, Rolston awarded the prestigious ‘C’ to …

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