Zenon Konopka chats with reporters this morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Zenon Konopka finally in Buffalo after long travel day, excited to make Sabres debut

BUFFALO – Zenon Konopka’s travel ordeal began Friday night shortly after landing in New York from Minnesota. First, the center’s flight was delayed four hours. Then the airline canceled it.

“The tough part was they said they could get me in Sunday,” Konopka, who was claimed on waivers by the Sabres on Friday, said this morning after skating briefly inside the First Niagara Center. “I said, ‘That’s not going to work.’”

Konopka eventually switched ... Read the full article

Zenon Konopka has played 323 NHL games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ted Nolan wants Sabres’ youngsters to learn from Zenon Konopka

BUFFALO – Zenon Konopka is joining the Sabres for more than his grittiness and faceoff prowess. In the 33-year-old center, they also possess a hardworking veteran the youngsters on the rebuilding team can learn from.

“Those type of guys are really good role models for the younger players,” interim coach Ted Nolan said Friday shortly after the Sabres plucked Konopka off waivers from the Minnesota Wild. “They last that long because they have that special ... Read the full article

Zenon Konopka is also known for his faceoff skills. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want gritty Zenon Konopka to be role model for youngsters

BUFFALO – Zenon Konopka isn’t joining the Sabres just for his grittiness and supreme faceoff skills. In the 33-year-old center, a ferocious fighter, the team also possesses a hardworking veteran the youngsters can look up to.

“Those type of guys are really good role models for the younger players,” interim coach Ted Nolan said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center shortly after the Sabres claimed Konopka on waivers. “They last that long because they ... Read the full article

Zenon Konopka grew up close to Buffalo. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Report: Sabres claim Zenon Konopka off waivers from Wild

BUFFALO – The Sabres have claimed gritty center Zenon Konopka off waivers from the Minnesota Wild, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Michael Russo.

The 33-year-old, a native of nearby Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., is a rare mix of grit and skill, fighting regularly and annually ranking among the NHL’s faceoff leaders.

Konopka, 6-feet and 213 pounds, has 12 goals, 29 points, 1,049 penalty minutes and a minus-45 rating in 323 NHL games. He has one goal, ... Read the full article