It’s over

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Hasek

Connor Knapp made 22 saves Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – On March 15, more than 4,000 miles from Buffalo, Sabres goalie Connor Knapp stopped 24 shots in the Alaska Aces’ 4-2 win against the Colorado Eagles in Anchorage.

Twenty-nine days later, Knapp, the sixth goalie on the organization’s depth chart, made his first NHL start in the Sabres’ 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Islanders.

Knapp grew up in York, a small town about 30 miles from Rochester.

“It’s crazy,” the 23-year-old told a throng of cameras and reporters after …

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Dominik Hasek received a special saber for being inducted into the Hall of Fame. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – One current Sabre, forward Matt Ellis, played with legendary goalie Dominik Hasek, who was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame prior to Saturday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning inside the First Niagara Center.

Ellis played 16 games as a rookie with Detroit in 2006-07, Hasek’s 15th NHL season. Incredibly, Hasek posted a 2.05 goals-against average and .913 save percentage as 42-year-old that year.

“He was a great teammate, someone as a young player coming in watching …

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Dominik Hasek smiled a lot Friday recalling special memories. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – They hadn’t spoken in almost 17 years, since Ted Nolan’s first run as coach ended amid speculation Dominik Hasek, his star goalie, had just quit on the Sabres during the playoffs.

The two, who reportedly feuded, never crossed paths again until Friday.

After Nolan was essentially fired following the 1996-97 season, Hasek kept tending perhaps the best goal in NHL history, piling up awards while winning two Stanley Cups. Nolan, meanwhile, had trouble finding another NHL job.

But Nolan’s back coaching …

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Ted Nolan hadn't spoken to Dominik Hasek since 1997. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Dominik Hasek and Ted Nolan hadn’t spoken in almost 17 years, since Nolan’s first run as coach ended amid speculation his star goalie had quit on the Sabres during the playoffs.

Hasek’s back in town to enter the team’s Hall of Fame Saturday. He said earlier today he wanted to see Nolan.

“I never really ran into him anywhere,” Nolan said this afternoon following practice inside the First Niagara Center. “He came down and said hello and we had a …

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Dominik Hasek talks this morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Dominik Hasek swears he’s retired from hockey. The legendary Sabres goalie hasn’t played professionally since his one-year stint in the Russian KHL ended in February 2011.

His goalie equipment, Hasek said, hasn’t left the bag since then. These days, the 49-year-old plays once or twice a week as a defenseman in a rec league back in his native Czech Republic.

“You wake up and you enjoy your life different ways,” Hasek, whose No. 39 will be retired by the Sabres …

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Michal Neuvirth will start in goal Friday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – It wasn’t a normal NHL trade deadline for the rebuilding Sabres. No one was off limits.

“If you look at the majority of the teams, they got one guy maybe they’re thinking about moving,” interim Sabres coach Ted Nolan told reporters today in Tampa Bay, a day after the deadline. “We had almost half our team in the trade mill. We didn’t really know until yesterday.

“There was a lot of anxious moments. One of the players was telling me …

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Ryan Millers chats with reporters Thursday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – On the eve of what could be his 500th and final appearance with the Sabres, goalie Ryan Miller wouldn’t speculate about his future.

Instead, the 32-year-old mostly delved into a past that has made him one of the franchise’s all-time greats.

At times, Miller’s six-minute chat with the media Thursday sounded more like a goodbye than a reflection of his first 499 games.

He called Buffalo his “second home.” He smiled and spoke about becoming part of the community and giving …

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Luke Adam (right) celebrates his first-period goal Friday as Brian Flynn congratulates him. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – On Friday morning, hours before their 4-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators, new assistant captain Steve Ott promised the Sabres would keep fighting for that unlikely playoff berth until the bitter end.

Two days after management jettisoned captain Jason Pominville at the trade deadline with the message the Sabres’ plans have shifted to the future, players emphatically say they’re still focused on the present.

They want to win now.

Ten games remain for the 12th-place Sabres, who trail the eighth-place New …

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Luke Adam spent more than a year in the minors. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

PITTSBURGH – One day this winter, Luke Adam finally had enough. The 22-year-old cleared his head and stopped wondering about his future with the Buffalo Sabres.

In just a few months last season, Adam suffered a stunning decline, morphing from a first-line NHL scoring threat into a forgotten AHL player repeatedly bypassed for recalls.

But fretting wasn’t helping Adam’s career.

“That’s what got me in trouble,” Adam said Tuesday prior to the Sabres’ 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins inside Consol Energy Center, …

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Steve Ott (9) got knocked down by Zdeno Chara on Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

PITTSBURGH – At the 12:01 mark of the first period in the Buffalo Sabres’ 2-0 loss to Boston on Sunday, hulking Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara cross-checked Steve Ott, sending the agitator flying into the boards.

Ott hit his head and skated off to the dressing room before returning. But in addition to Chara’s minor penalty, Ott received an unsportsmanlike conduct embellishment penalty.

Did interim Sabres coach Ron Rolston agree?

“No, unless you want to launch yourself head-first into the boards as an embellishment,” …

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