Welcome back, Jack

Archive:
Kaleta

Patrick Kaleta is keeping the door open to playing again. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – For the last “crazy” little while, Patrick Kaleta said, when fans spot him around town, they greet the former Sabres agitator with the same questions.

“People see me, they say, ‘What are you doing here? Your team is practicing. Your team is playing,’” Kaleta told the Times Herald on Monday.

The affable Kaleta, who played 348 games with the Sabres, said he smiles and tells them he has a new job with the team off the ice.

“I just kind of …

Read More --->
Taylor Fedun is a productive AHL defenseman. ©2016, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Had Taylor Fedun been healthy enough to participate in training camp, then perhaps the Sabres would’ve recalled the high-scoring defenseman earlier this season.

But Fedun, who made his Sabres debut Thursday, fractured his foot in April playing with the Utica Comets, the Vancouver Canucks’ AHL affiliate. The Princeton product didn’t begin skating again until the day before training camp started, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said.

So while Fedun, 28, participated in meetings with his new team, he stayed off the …

Read More --->
Casey Nelson struggled in limited action. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Had Taylor Fedun been healthy enough to participate in training camp, then perhaps the Sabres would’ve recalled the defenseman earlier this season.

But Fedun, who will make his Sabres debut tonight, fractured his foot in April. He didn’t skate again until the day before training camp started, coach Dan Bylsma said.

After finally joining Sabres practices Oct. 1, Fedun said he was still behind a week or two following his assignment Rochester Americans in early October.

“Got his game underneath him,” …

Read More --->
Nick Baptiste scored 13 goals last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Nick Baptiste understands coming off consecutive 40-goal junior seasons, his rookie campaign with the Rochester Americans looks a bit underwhelming.

“Whenever you go from 40 goals to 13, it’s obviously a pretty steep decline,” Baptiste said Friday after rookie camp opened inside HarborCenter. “But it’s a different league. It’s pro hockey. You’re playing against 30-year-old men versus 18-year-old boys. It’s a lot different.”

For two years, Baptiste, 21, was quietly one of the Ontario Hockey League’s most lethal …

Read More --->
Patrick Kaleta spent all of last season in Rochester. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
5

BUFFALO – As a 30-year-old grinder still searching for a contract, Patrick Kaleta understands his 10-year career could already be over. The passionate former Sabres winger talks openly about the inevitable end and how he is prepared for his post-playing life.

“I’m lucky enough that I love hockey and I’ll die for the sport,” Kaleta said Wednesday after skating inside HarborCenter. “I’ll die playing the sport, especially for my team. That’s how much my team means to me. But I don’t …

Read More --->
Patrick Kaleta has played only 26 games with Rochester. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
6

ROCHESTER – Patrick Kaleta smirked before pausing 10 seconds. The popular former Buffalo Sabres winger kept searching for the right word to describe his first full AHL season since 2006-07, his rookie year.

The oft-injured agitator, a veteran of 348 NHL games, never found one.

“Kind of hard to put a word on it,” Kaleta said Friday inside the Blue Cross War Memorial. “But with what I can kind of control playing-wise, I did what I needed to do. I’ll just leave …

Read More --->
Ryan O'Reilly was named team MVP Friday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – In his first season as coach, Dan Bylsma has experienced so much excitement surrounding the Sabres he wonders how crazy it would feel if his team becomes a contender again.

The Sabres, of course, will miss the playoffs for the fifth straight season. Still, to a rabid fan base yearning for postseason hockey, the progress the Sabres have made this season – they’ve improved 25 points with newcomers Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly and others – offers strong hope for …

Read More --->
Phil Varone scored his fifth NHL goal Saturday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Just 18 days ago, when the Rochester Americans made their yearly visit to the First Niagara Center, Phil Varone watched as a healthy scratch. At that point, almost halfway through his fifth professional season, the forward appeared to be on the outs with the Sabres organization.

Despite playing 28 NHL games last year and earning a contract worth $200,000 in the minors, Varone’s poor play and the Amerks’ glut of veterans helped him get benched five times recently.

But Varone, …

Read More --->
Phil Varone has been a healthy scratch this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

ROCHESTER – One of the oddest situations in the minors is unfolding with the AHL Americans, the Buffalo Sabres’ high-priced affiliate. The club has too many veterans, meaning some notable talent earning six figures has been forced to sit out to comply with league development rules.

The Amerks scratched Jerry D’Amigo and Patrick Kaleta, two forwards with 379 games of NHL experience, Friday. Forward Matt Ellis, an alternate captain less than a year removed from regular NHL duty, sat out for …

Read More --->
Josh Gorges was hurt in his preseason debut. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Josh Gorges almost revealed what had sidelined him for a week of training camp.

Almost.

“Just a quick cleanup in my,” the Sabres defenseman said this morning before pausing briefly, “lower body.”

Yes, Gorges, who underwent microfracture surgery in February, has already undergone a minor procedure this season. He said he was injured nine days ago going into the corner against the Ottawa Senators.

While Gorges skated this morning and feels good, he won’t play in tonight’s preseason finale against the Columbus …

Read More --->