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LaFontaine

John Scott played two seasons with the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – John Scott was scratched again Tuesday, the 15th time in 21 games the hulking San Jose Sharks tough guy has watched this season.

Scott understands his role means he must sit out regularly. Still, the popular former Sabres fighter wanted to play badly in his return to the First Niagara Center.

“It’s always fun to come back,” Scott said prior to the Sabres’ 4-1 win. “I wish I was playing tonight. I could get into a fight, show them what …

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Matt Moulson (left) shares a laugh with Tyler Ennis on Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Through all the losses last season, through all the stress and uncertainty, Matt Moulson kept envisioning the future here.

The high-scoring winger endured the toughest season of his career in 2013-14, skating for three teams during a dizzying six-month stretch. The Sabres lost 28 of the 44 games he played. They changed coaches and general managers. Days before they traded him to the Minnesota Wild, Pat LaFontaine resigned as president of hockey operations.

Still, Moulson saw a bright vision from …

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Darcy Regier was fired in November. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

Welcome back to the NHL, Darcy Regier.

The former Buffalo Sabres general manager has been hired as the senior vice president and assistant GM of the Arizona Coyotes. The 58-year-old hadn’t been heard from since the Sabres fired him after a wretched 4-15-1 start in November.

“Thrilled to bring him on,” GM Don Maloney said in an interview with the team. “I think he’s a great resource for the organization, for me. He’s intelligent creative, experienced, knows the league, knows people in …

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Ted Nolan has help elevate the play of Drew Stafford (left) and Tyler Ennis (right). ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – Drew Stafford’s first conversation with Sabres coach Ted Nolan lasted no more than two minutes, the winger said. It was a straightforward, “man-to-man” chat.

“Looking-at-me-in-the-eyes kind of conversation,” Stafford said Monday, hours after the Sabres removed Nolan’s interim tag and gave him a three-year contract extension.

Stafford was struggling badly back in mid-November. He had one goal and had just lost his alternate captaincy. Nolan didn’t care. As a veteran, Stafford deserved respect. Nolan immediately upped his ice time.

“Just that …

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Ted Nolan had his interim tag removed today. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Tim Murray has been watching Sabres coach Ted Nolan closely for months. In trying times, the general manager said, he’s liked Nolan’s work.

The Sabres, despite the NHL’s weakest roster and worst record, still compete most nights. Murray likes Nolan’s work with the youngsters and his popularity with the veterans.

“All I’ve heard is positives,” Murray said this afternoon in announcing a three-year contract extension and removing Nolan’s interim tag.

For Nolan, who also coached the Sabres from 1995-97, Buffalo is …

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Ted Nolan re-joined the Sabres on Nov. 13. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres removed the interim tag from Ted Nolan today, signing the coach to a reported three-year contract extension.

While the rebuilding club is 16-30-8 under Nolan, the culture around the Sabres has changed dramatically. Nolan’s straightforward approach has connected with many players, most notably center Tyler Ennis and winger Drew Stafford, who have been thriving in recent months.

“We are very happy to get this deal done and have Ted Nolan as our permanent head coach going forward,” Sabres …

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Ryan Miller has been facing fewer shots in St. Louis. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

TORONTO – Nights like Tuesday are acceptable now. Former Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller wasn’t dynamic in the St. Louis Blues’ 5-3 victory against the Maple Leafs. He looked average, even a bit shaky at times while making only 22 saves.

But Miller doesn’t have to be perfect these days. The 33-year-old’s tending goal for the NHL’s best team, not its worst.

Miller is 8-2-1 since the blockbuster Feb. 28 deal sent the franchise goalie and captain Steve Ott to the powerhouse …

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Steve Ott has won 10 of the 13 games he's played with St. Louis. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

TORONTO – Steve Ott is no longer the guy, just one piece of arguably the NHL’s deepest club, the powerhouse St. Louis Blues. Of course, the popular former Buffalo Sabres captain knew he was joining a special team.

But how good is St. Louis?

Tuesday’s 5-3 win against Maple Leafs was the Blues’ 10th victory in 13 games since acquiring Ott and franchise goalie Ryan Miller on Feb. 28.

Ott won only 17 of the 59 games he played with the rebuilding Sabres, …

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Steve Ott skates this morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

TORONTO – Steve Ott’s opinion of the Buffalo Sabres hasn’t changed. The former captain still believes the rebuilding club’s future can be bright.

Still, the gritty winger is “disappointed” Pat LaFontaine resigned as the team’s president of hockey operations March 1, a day after the Sabres traded Ott and franchise goalie Ryan Miller to the St. Louis Blues.

“I thought he was a phenomenal man,” Ott said this afternoon inside the Air Canada Centre after the Blues prepared for tonight’s game against …

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Ted Nolan could become the Sabres' permanent coach soon. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Ted Nolan should be returning to the Sabres next season.

The interim coach said Monday his representative is handling a new contract with Sabres general manager Tim Murray.

“I guess he and Tim will be talking soon if (they haven’t) talked already,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators. “It’s formalities and getting things ironed out and doing all the legal stuff. … We’ll leave it in their hands …

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