Best wishes to RJ

Archive:
Ennis

Matt Moulson (left) shares a laugh with Tyler Ennis on Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Through all the losses last season, through all the stress and uncertainty, Matt Moulson kept envisioning the future here.

The high-scoring winger endured the toughest season of his career in 2013-14, skating for three teams during a dizzying six-month stretch. The Sabres lost 28 of the 44 games he played. They changed coaches and general managers. Days before they traded him to the Minnesota Wild, Pat LaFontaine resigned as president of hockey operations.

Still, Moulson saw a bright vision from …

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Sam Reinhart skates this morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Hey, it’s never too early for line and defense combinations, right? Clearly, coach Ted Nolan has formed trios and pairs he believes could be used in the regular season.

Here are some notable ones the Sabres are using today during the opening session of training camp (left to right):

– Marcus Foligno, Sam Reinhart and Chris Stewart.

– Matt Moulson, Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford.

– Cody Hodgson, Zemgus Girgensons and Brian Gionta.

Following his first camp practice, Reinhart, the No. 2 pick …

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Tyler Ennis signed a five-year, $23 million contract last week. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The setting made Tyler Ennis reflect on a career that almost never started.

The slick Sabres center was about to skate at Callingwood Recreation Centre, the rink around the corner from his childhood home in Edmonton, when word arrived last week his new five-year, $23 million contract had been finalized.

His best friend, Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon, was with him. So were the memories of his struggles as a youngster.

“I was just kind of thinking, ‘Wow, how far I’ve …

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Tyler Ennis will earn $23 million over five years. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
3

BUFFALO – If the Sabres couldn’t sign Tyler Ennis to a long-term deal, they would’ve given the slick center a one-year qualifying offer, general manager Tim Murray said this afternoon.

Ennis, a restricted free agent, inked a five-year, $23 million contract Thursday.

“It certainly wasn’t straightforward,” Murray said about getting the deal done.

Still, Murray believes “both sides were on the same page.”

“It was just how you got there,” he said inside the First Niagara Center.

Ennis just finished a two-year contract.

Right now, Ennis, …

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Tyler Ennis is the Sabres' No. 1 center. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The five-year, $23 million commitment illustrates the Sabres’ strong belief in Tyler Ennis, their leading goal scorer and No. 1 center.

At 24 years old, the 5-foot-9 speedster has become a cornerstone for the rebuilding club.

The likable Ennis signed the new deal worth $4.6 million annually Thursday, becoming the Sabres’ third-highest cap hit behind defenseman Tyler Myers ($5.5 million) and winger Matt Moulson ($5 million).

Clearly, the Sabres believe Ennis will keep growing. He had a career-high 21 goals in …

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Tyler Ennis had 21 goals last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres officially announced slick center Tyler Ennis’ new contract this morning.

It’s a five-year, $23 million deal, according to multiple reports.

Ennis, the Sabres’ last notable restricted free agent, had a team-high 21 goals in 80 games last season. The 24-year-old has 69 goals and 166 points in 267 NHL games since 2009-10.

At $4.6 million a season, Ennis is the Sabres’ third-highest paid player behind defenseman Tyler Myers ($5.5 million) and winger Matt Moulson ($5 million).

Related: Instinctive game allows …

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Tyler Ennis had a team-high 21 goals last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres are close to signing leading scorer Tyler Ennis to a five-year contract worth around $23 million, according to the NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes.

The deal has an average annual value of $4.6 million, according to Weekes.

Ennis, the Sabres’ last notable restricted free agent, had 21 goals and 43 points in 80 games last season. The center has 69 goals and 166 points in 267 NHL games since 2009-10.

The 24-year-old would become the Sabres’ third-highest paid player behind …

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Chad Ruhwedel has played 28 NHL games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres have re-signed defenseman Chad Ruhwedel to a two-year contract, leaving center Tyler Ennis as the club’s lone notable restricted free agent.

Ruhwedel had one assist in 21 NHL games last season. The 24-year-old four goals and 28 points in 47 games with Rochester.

The San Diego native has played 28 NHL contests. The Sabres signed him as a free agent after three NCAA seasons at the University of UMass Lowell.

Update: This article originally stated Ruhwedel must clear waivers …

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Cory Conacher is looking for a new team. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – The short Sabres careers of winger Cory Conacher and defenseman Jamie McBain are over.

The rebuilding club passed on giving them qualifying offers as restricted free agents, making them free to sign with any team.

The Sabres also didn’t qualify defensemen Nick Crawford and Matt MacKenzie, who played in Rochester, and goalie Connor Knapp, who played two NHL games last season.

Sabres general manager Tim Murray said Monday morning McBain, who struggled his one season here, wouldn’t be coming back. Murray …

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Joel Armia hasn't played in a regular-season NHL game yet. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
3

Since most NHL Entry Drafts don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at the Buffalo Sabres’ first-round picks from 2006-11 and some notable hits and misses. Fourteen of Buffalo’s 43 draft choices over that time have made the NHL.

The Sabres have eight picks this weekend in Philadelphia, including the No. 2 selection.

2011

First-round pick: center Joel Armia, 16th overall

Armia endured a rough season in 2013-14, his first in North America. The 21-year-old broke his hand during an …

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