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Foligno

Michal Neuvirth only played two games with the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

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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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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Drew Stafford has noticed the community coming together following the Bills sale. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – It wasn’t hard for Sabres winger Drew Stafford to see the excitement Terry and Kim Pegula’s purchase of the Buffalo Bills has generated around town.

“Everyone’s kind of got a little bit of a jump in their step,” Stafford said this morning, a day after Sabres owner Terry Pegula added the NFL franchise to his family’s growing sports empire.

The acquisition, Stafford said, is “bringing everyone together” around Buffalo.

“There’s a lot of positivity around,” the longest-tenured Sabre said. “It seems like …

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Brian Gionta captained Montreal. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – For two weeks, Tim Murray bristled when the media asked him about the salary floor. The rebuilding Sabres would reach it, the general manager said. He wasn’t worried. They would lure strong veteran talent when free agency opened.

“But you’re never sure until the clock hits 12,” Murray said Tuesday inside the First Niagara Center.

When the clock hit noon Tuesday and the market opened, the Sabres, a laughingstock last season, quickly became the NHL’s top destination.

First, they signed respected …

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Matt Moulson played 44 games with the Sabres last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – At this rate, the Sabres might reach the salary floor later today.

The Sabres have added two more pieces, re-signing old friends Matt Moulson, a high scoring winger, and Cody McCormick, a versatile fighter with skill. They traded both to the Minnesota Wild for draft picks in March.

Update: The Sabres have also signed defenseman Andrej Meszaros to a one-year, $4.125 million contract, according to reports.

Moulson inked a five-year, $25 million contract, according to reports. McCormick, meanwhile, signed a three-year, …

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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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The Sabres could draft Sam Reinhart this June. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Chalk up one more loss for the Sabres this season.

The rebuilding club couldn’t retain the No. 1 overall pick during Tuesday’s NHL Draft Lottery in Toronto. Instead, the Florida Panthers moved up one spot to the top selection.

The Sabres will pick second in June. Thanks to their 30th ranking this season, the Sabres had a 25 percent chance of keeping the top pick, more than any other team. The Panthers had an 18.8 percent chance.

Earlier Tuesday, Sabres general …

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Tim Murray talks to the media this afternoon. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – In an end-of-season news conference that will likely become part of local lore, general manager Tim Murray bluntly discussed the Sabres’ future, tonight’s NHL Draft Lottery and took some not-so-veiled shots at the team’s old regime this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center.

He even mentioned the Sabres getting their “pee-pee slapped” by the league recently.

More on that later.

Here are some highlights from the 28-minute chat from Murray and Sabres coach Ted Nolan:

Murray on the New York Islanders GM …

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Tim Murray has been talking with NHL officials. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Tim Murray recently asked coach Ted Nolan to tell him everything that was happening.

Why?

“Because we’re going to complain about it,” Murray told Nolan.

The Sabres are angry the NHL only suspended Flyers agitator Zac Rinaldo four games for elbowing defenseman Chad Ruhwedel in the head late in Sunday’s 5-2 loss in Philadelphia.

Ruhwedel is home recovering from a concussion and out indefinitely. Rinaldo, meanwhile, can play again next week.

Nolan said Murray “has probably made a number of …

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