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Drury

Thomas Vanek played his first game back in Buffalo on Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

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
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

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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Henrik Tallinder left the Sabres in 2010. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Three years ago, Henrik Tallinder sensed his Sabres career was ending. Despite a strong season helping then-rookie Tyler Myers develop into of the NHL’s top defensemen, the Swede knew the team had little interest in awarding him a long-term contract.

So when free agency opened, Tallinder signed a four-year, $13.5 million deal with the New Jersey Devils.

Had the Sabres offered even three years to Tallinder, he said he might’ve considered staying with the organization that originally drafted him 48th …

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Justin Bailey fields questions Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

NEWARK, N.J. – The memory is seared in Justin Bailey’s mind. The Williamsville native vividly remembers watching from his grandparents’ house as Brett Hull’s disputed “No Goal” eliminated his favorite team, the Buffalo Sabres, from the 1999 Stanley Cup final.

“It was crushing for me,” Bailey said Sunday inside the Prudential Center minutes after the Sabres selected him 52nd overall with their third second-round pick in the NHL Entry Draft.

Even as a 3-year-old, Bailey, who turns 18 today, loved the Sabres.

So …

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Jason Pominville became a Sabres regular in 2005-06. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
6

BUFFALO – Instead of trading captain Jason Pominville to the Minnesota Wild before the deadline Wednesday, the 13th-place Sabres could’ve tried staying in the playoff chase and acquiring another player to make a run at eighth place, general manager Darcy Regier said.

But the Sabres, whose owner, Terry Pegula, has spent tens of millions of dollars pursuing his championship dream, no longer embrace that kind of philosophy.

They’ve started thinking long-term.

“The preference is to build for a Stanley Cup versus a playoff …

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The Sabres acquired Cody Hodgson at last season's trade deadline. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

PITTSBURGH – With the NHL trade deadline hitting at 3 p.m. Wednesday, here’s the Buffalo Sabres’ Eastern Conference standing and their activity since 2006:

2006, third place, 83 points

General manager Darcy Regier made no additions, only trading No. 3 goalie Mika Noronen to Vancouver for a second-round pick (current backup goalie Jhonas Enroth). Some argued the inactivity bit the surprising Sabres, who lost four defensemen to injury during their run to the Eastern Conference final. They lost Game 7 with just …

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Brad Boyes' acquisition at last year's trade deadline was significant. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – With the NHL trade deadline hitting at 3 p.m. today, here’s the Sabres’ Eastern Conference standing and their activity post-lockout:

2006, third place, 83 points

General manager Darcy Regier made no additions, only trading No. 3 goalie Mika Noronen to Vancouver for a second-round pick. Some argued the inactivity bit the surprising Sabres, who lost four defensemen to injury during their run to the Eastern Conference final. They lost Game 7 with just two regular defenders, Brian Campbell and Toni …

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