Training Camp Edition

Archive:
Girgensons

Alexander Nylander has looked good so far in training camp. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Some quick updates this morning from KeyBank Center, where the Sabres prepared for tonight’s preseason opener against the Minnesota Wild before flying to Penn State University:

– The Sabres will use a mix of veterans, youngsters and AHL players for the tilt at Pegula Ice Arena.

Eighth overall pick Alexander Nylander, whose early training camp play has impressed coach Dan Bylsma, will debut on the left wing beside center Cal O’Reilly and Williamsville’s Cole Schneider.

Newcomer Anders Nilsson will start in …

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Zemgus Girgensons was all over the ice last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres team that will convene today for training camp physicals, the official start of the 2016-17 season, isn’t much different from the one that just finished seventh in the Atlantic Division.

Sure, there were some notable summer additions. Winger Kyle Okposo, who signed a seven-year, $42 million contract July 1, was arguably the best free agent available. Dmitri Kulikov gives the Sabres a sturdy veteran to skate beside No. 1 defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen.

Still, more than anything, the Sabres …

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Zemgus Girgensons struggled last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres have re-signed forward Zemgus Girgensons to a one-year contract, the team announced this afternoon.

With Girgensons’ $1.15 million salary, the Sabres have $8.537 million left in salary cap space, according to generalfanager.com. Their last restricted free agent is defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. Training camp opens in about three weeks.

Girgensons, 22, is coming off a disappointing season in which he mustered only seven goals and 18 points in 71 games. That might explain the short deal. The Latvian struggled …

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Jimmy Vesey was a free agent four days. ©2016, Gil Talbot, Harvard Athletics
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

Jimmy Vesey, the Hobey Baker Award winner whose negotiating rights the Buffalo Sabres owned for 57 days, signed a two-year, $1.85 million entry-level contract Friday with the New York Rangers, ending an odd five months in which the college star spurned the Nashville Predators to become a free agent.

Vesey, 23, officially became unrestricted on Tuesday, and, as expected, a slew of teams tried recruiting the high-scoring former Harvard University winger.

In addition to the Rangers, his hometown Boston Bruins, the Chicago …

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Marcus Foligno (82) muscles past Montreal's Victor Bartley on March 16. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – The Sabres re-signed another restricted free agent today, inking winger Marcus Foligno to a one-year contract worth a reported $2.25 million.

While Foligno, 24, was coming off a season in which he set career highs across the board, he earned the same salary last year.

Very quietly, the Sabres are creeping toward the salary cap for the first time in years. Generalfanager.com projects the team at $9,687,978 under the $73 million cap.

The Sabres, remember, need to re-sign restricted free agents …

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Mark Pysyk figured he was in the Sabres' plans. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Fresh off his first full NHL season, Mark Pysyk figured he was in the Sabres’ long-term plans. With the defenseman skating regular minutes in 55 games, the team improved 27 points, moving from last overall to 23rd.

“I wasn’t really banking on anything happening,” Pysyk told the Times Herald by phone Sunday.

Then Saturday morning, as Pysyk slept, his phone began lighting up with calls and texts. Eventually, his fiancé informed him the Sabres had just traded him to the …

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Rasmus Ristolainen has been a strong pick for the Sabres. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – To thrive in the modern NHL, teams must build through the draft. It’s that simple. The days of loading up with veteran players through free agency or trades are long gone. The league belongs to the 20-somethings now, and if teams draft poorly, they’re doomed.

How good are the Sabres at drafting? Judge for yourself below. Since drafts usually don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at their selections from 2008-13. Eighteen of Buffalo’s 47 …

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Auston Matthews should visit Buffalo with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 3. ©2016, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – After the Sabres open their season Oct. 13 at home against the Montreal Canadiens, they start a four-game road trip – longer than any swing they had last season – three days later against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.

That’s just one notable stretch of the 82-game 2016-17 schedule the NHL released Tuesday.

The Sabres, who went 19-17-5 on the road last season, better get comfortable playing away from the First Niagara Center early, as eight of their first …

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Sabres goalie Jason Kasdorf makes a first-period save in his NHL debut Friday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – In the big picture, failing to hit a .500 points percentage, a notable mark the Sabres sorely wanted, shouldn’t matter much.

The Sabres’ 4-1 loss in Friday’s home finale to the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets secured their third straight losing season (34-36-11), and like so many other home games recently, they let a weak opponent exploit them.

Still, the Sabres’ recent 7-2-2 run thrust them up the standings, giving them a real goal – they haven’t finished .500 since 2012-13 …

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Cole Schneider has strong AHL numbers. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – When Williamsville native Cole Schneider walked into the First Niagara Center on Thursday morning, it marked the first time the new Sabres winger had been in the building since he competed in a showcase of local high school players in 2008.

A lot happened to Schneider, 25, in between his trips to rink.

Schneider, who grew up cheering for the Sabres, will make his NHL debut in tonight’s home finale against the Columbus Blue Jackets after playing 287 AHL games.

“He’s …

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