Best wishes to RJ

Archive:
Enroth

Michal Neuvirth only played two games with the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – They’ve been friends for years. Sabres goalies Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth grew up facing each other overseas. When their careers shifted to North America, they kept competing all the way to the NHL.

These days, the 26-year-olds are challenging for the same spot, the No. 1 goalie position.

“It’s Jhonas and Neuvirth’s time,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said Friday inside the First Niagara Center following the first session of training camp.

The competition should be a friendly one. The two …

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Matt Moulson re-signed with the Sabres on July 1. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – It’s an odd dynamic. Some fans, even the most diehard ones, want the Sabres to lose this season so they can draft a franchise-changing prospect.

“I didn’t come here to lose,” Sabres winger Brian Gionta said Thursday inside the First Niagara Center. “The first step is to get into the playoffs.”

That kind of talk has been rare here for the last 18 months as the Sabres quickly morphed into the NHL’s worst team. But as training camp opened Thursday, …

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Matt Moulson likes the Sabres' future. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Their faces told a story. One-by-one, Sabres players took their turn at a podium this morning, the start of training camp. Each one smiled and spoke optimistically.

They all talked about the great things the Sabres, the NHL’s laughingstock last year, can do this season after revamping the lineup this summer

“I didn’t come here to lose,” Sabres winger Brian Gionta, a July 1 signing, said inside the First Niagara Center. “The first step is to get into the playoffs.”

Sabres …

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Sam Reinhart skates last week at the NHL Prospects Tournament. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – If you love roster battles, the next three weeks of Sabres training camp should be fun.

About 34 players have a legitimate chance to crack the opening-night lineup. They have a prized prospect, slick center Sam Reinhart, vying for a spot. The starting goalie job is up for grabs. Defense spots are open. Nine or 10 guys will be competing for three fourth-line spots.

Players report for physicals today. The first on-ice session is Friday. Incredibly, the Sabres play their …

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Linus Ullmark will play one more season in his native Sweden. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – It was a low-risk move. In 2012, the Sabres wanted to find a late-round steal in net. The team’s new European scouts scoured Finland and Sweden, two countries known for producing hidden goaltending gems.

Eventually, the Sabres drafted Linus Ullmark, a little-known Swede, in the sixth round, 163rd overall.

Barely two years later, Ullmark has developed into a legitimate NHL prospect. The 20-year-old enjoyed a breakout season in the Swedish Hockey League last year, compiling a gaudy .931 save percentage …

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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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Linus Ullmark has worn a white mask at times during his career. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

As you can see from the photo above, Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Linus Ullmark sported a vanilla look during the team’s development camp last summer.

At times throughout his career, Ullmark has worn just a plain white mask. The 20-year-old Swede has a creative side, however. Check out the Bowser (from Super Mario Bros.) mask he just commissioned artist David Gunnarsson to paint.

Ullmark’s a big Nintendo fan, according to Gunnarsson. The youngster plans to wear the mask next season with Modo …

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Jhonas Enroth was injured March 16. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – After almost four seasons as a backup, Jhonas Enroth’s run at becoming the Sabres’ No. 1 goalie lasted seven games before a sprained MCL ended his trying campaign.

A disappointing finish to an odd year for the 25-year-old, right?

“Kind of,” Enroth said Monday inside the First Niagara Center as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers.

Get this, the Swede said he was “kind of glad” he got hurt.

“If you understand me right,” he said.

Enroth believes stepping back and seeing “everything …

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Tyler Myers missed the last 10 games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Tyler Myers’ season isn’t over yet. The Sabres defenseman said the broken ribs that sidelined him the final 10 games have mostly healed. The 24-year-old will likely accept an invitation to play for Team Canada at next month’s world championship.

Myers crashed into the net March 25 in Montreal. He didn’t reveal his injury until Monday.

“It’s coming along quite well,” Myers said as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers and held end-of-season meetings inside the First Niagara Center. “I …

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Tyler Myers chats with reporters this morning. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Here are some quick updates on several of the injured Sabres. With the season finally over, most players will tell you exactly what happened to them.

– Defenseman Tyler Myers said he broke a couple of ribs when he crashed into the net March 25 in Montreal.

“It’s coming along quite well,” Myers said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “I had a week of hope after it happened. It turned out we found a couple of broken ribs. …

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