Enjoy the Summer

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Hodgson

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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Marcus Foligno flips over Nashville goalie Carter Hutton on Wednesday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – On Wednesday, against a reeling team that hadn’t scored a goal in more than three games, the Sabres pounced on the Nashville Predators early.

The Sabres held an 11-4 shot advantage after one period and widened it to 25-11 after two inside the First Niagara Center.

Still, it didn’t matter.

The Sabres trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes and 3-1 after 40 in their 3-2 loss to the Predators. After winning three consecutive games to reach .500, the Sabres have dropped six …

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Phil Housley played eight seasons with the Sabres. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – It was September 1982, and before the Sabres headed to Montreal for their first exhibition game, the team bus stopped at a hotel to pick up some players.

Phil Housley, an 18-year-old just months removed from high school, thought the bus was going to another hotel. So the green rookie, who was with his girlfriend, Karin, decided to bring his future wife on the bus, a big no-no.

“Everybody was on the bus,” Housley, who was inducted into the Hockey …

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Cody Hodgson skates this morning. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – When the Nashville Predators’ dressing room opened this afternoon, some reporters walked over to former Sabres enigma Cody Hodgson, exchanged pleasantries and started talking to the 25-year-old.

After spouting a few clichés about his new team and city, Hodgson, who had a buyout exercised on the final four seasons of his six-year, $25.5 million contract in June following an awful 2014-15 campaign, became prickly.

Clearly, the end of his four-year run with the Sabres – he scored six goals last …

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Matt Donovan sat out regularly last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Tim Murray has spoken about the need for the Rochester Americans to improve following an awful season. The general manager left no doubt he was serious Wednesday, signing two notable AHL players to two-way deals – defenseman Matt Donovan and winger Jason Akeson – for the Sabres’ top affiliate.

“I think they bring depth,” Murray said inside the First Niagara Center.

Otherwise, the Sabres stayed quiet on the first day of free agency. Murray’s still searching for the left-handed shot …

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Cody Hodgson scored six goals last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Cody Hodgson’s Sabres career is over.

The team put the struggling winger on unconditional waivers Monday, meaning the final four seasons of his six-year, $25.5 million contract will be bought out for one-third the remaining value since he’s under 26 years old.

The Sabres owe him $6.333 million over the next eight years, money that will count against the salary cap until 2022-23, according to generalfanager.com. They must absorb a $1,041,666 hit next season. The number never rises above $791,666 …

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Cody Hodgson struggled throughout 2014-15. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – Cody Hodgson’s Sabres career is over.

The team put the struggling winger on unconditional waivers today, meaning the final four seasons of his six-year, $25.5 million contract will be bought out for one-third the remaining value.

The 25-year-old endured perhaps the worst year of any NHL forward in 2014-15, mustering only six goals and 13 points in 78 games, a stunning 14-goal, 31-point drop in six more appearances.

Hodgson scored one goal in a 47-game stretch from Oct. 28 to Feb. …

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Tim Murray talks to the media Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
4

SUNRISE, Fla. – Tim Murray isn’t one for reflection. The gruff Buffalo Sabres general manager usually focuses on one task before quickly moving to the next one.

But at some point today, after an arduous NHL Draft weekend in which he added major assets, Murray will hop on a plane home to Buffalo and feel a sense of satisfaction.

Murray enjoyed arguably the best two days of any GM by drafting future cornerstone Jack Eichel second overall, acquiring coveted center Ryan O’Reilly …

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Zemgus Girgensons could have a long career with the Sabres. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

SUNRISE, Fla. – How good have the Buffalo Sabres drafted in recent years? Judge for yourself below.

Since most drafts don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at the Sabres’ selections from 2007-12 and some notable hits and misses. Sixteen of Buffalo’s 45 draft choices over that time – 36 percent – have made the NHL.

The Sabres have eight picks at this weekend’s NHL Draft, including the No. 2 selection, which they will use to select mega-prospect …

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Sabres general manager Tim Murray is offering Mikhail Grigorenko a two-way contract. ©2015, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
9

BUFFALO – General manager Tim Murray knows 21-year-old center Mikhail Grigorenko is frustrated the Sabres are offering a two-way contract. The restricted free agent dislikes the deal so much he’s reportedly fielding offers from the KHL, a league in his native Russia.

“I hear rumors,” Murray said Thursday during a news conference inside the First Niagara Center to discuss next week’s NHL Draft.

Clearly, the Sabres and Grigorenko’s camp have vastly different opinions of the youngster, the No. 12 pick in 2012.

“We …

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