Best wishes to RJ

Archive:
Leggio

Connor Knapp went 1-6 in limited AHL action last season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – In his first professional season, Connor Knapp sat on the bench in the AHL and watched … and watched … and watched as David Leggio handled the bulk of the Rochester Americans’ goaltending duties.

Knapp made the first of his seven starts Nov. 3, the season’s 10th game. The rookie played again 13 days later, then sat another three weeks. After Knapp’s Dec. 22 appearance, Leggio started the next 15 games.

Finally, after Knapp’s last nod – a 3-2 loss …

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David Leggio has developed into one of the AHL's best goalies. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – David Leggio has no hard feelings toward the Sabres.

Three summers ago, the goalie figured his championship season in Finland would generate interest back in North America. But offers never materialized. Finally, as the summer dragged on, the Sabres gave Leggio a chance when no one else would, signing him to play behind Jhonas Enroth with the Portland Pirates.

At that point, the 28-year-old Williamsville native had played three AHL games.

“They believed in me, and they were the first organization …

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Two years ago, the Sabres signed Ville Leino, a winger, to a six-year, $27 million contract to play center. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The focus during free agency, general manager Darcy Regier said, will be on adding supporting pieces to the Sabres’ younger core group. The crazy spending of the past appears to be over, at least for this summer.

So, when free agency opens at noon today, don’t expect the Sabres to wildly overpay or overreach for any Ville Leino-types again. And don’t expect them to throw tens of millions of dollars at any A-list talent, which is scarce this year.

Other …

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Justin Bailey fields questions Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

NEWARK, N.J. – The memory is seared in Justin Bailey’s mind. The Williamsville native vividly remembers watching from his grandparents’ house as Brett Hull’s disputed “No Goal” eliminated his favorite team, the Buffalo Sabres, from the 1999 Stanley Cup final.

“It was crushing for me,” Bailey said Sunday inside the Prudential Center minutes after the Sabres selected him 52nd overall with their third second-round pick in the NHL Entry Draft.

Even as a 3-year-old, Bailey, who turns 18 today, loved the Sabres.

So …

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Jhonas Enroth played well down the stretch. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – After 45 NHL starts, Sabres backup Jhonas Enroth believes he’s ready to assume regular duty. The 24-year-old wants to be a No. 1 goalie badly.

There’s just one problem.

“Ryan’s the starter here,” Enroth said Saturday as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers inside the First Niagara Center.

But how much longer will Ryan Miller be the starter?

It’s widely believed the Sabres will try to trade the franchise goalie following their disappointing 12th-place finish.

That could leave Enroth, the No. 2 the …

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Ryan Miller skates off the ice Friday, perhaps for the final time with the Sabres, as teammate Thomas Vanek (26) bangs his stick on the boards. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
6

BUFFALO – Seriously, in the wake of Friday’s debacle, can the Sabres ever play Ryan Miller before the home crowd again? How ugly could it become inside the First Niagara Center?

With only three games left this season, the goalie’s 10-year career here looks finished. The Sabres’ embarrassing 8-4 loss to the New York Rangers sure felt like Miller’s 498th and final appearance.

The fans’ love-hate relationship with Miller likely reached its breaking point as the Sabres’ slim playoff hopes ended.

After two …

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David Leggio has played 59 games this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – In 28-year-old No. 1 David Leggio, the Rochester Americans possess one of the AHL’s best goalies, a workhorse interim coach Chadd Cassidy thinks should be considered for the AHL’s MVP award.

But following the Sabres’ deadline trade with Minnesota last Wednesday, the Amerks received Matt Hackett, a strong prospect with NHL experience and three seasons as an AHL starter. The 23-year-old made 39 saves in a 3-2 shootout win Sunday, his first start.

Cassidy called his team’s current goalie setup …

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Matt Hackett played well during his three seasons in Houston. ©2013, PhotoGraphics Photography, AHL
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – Matt Hackett figured the Minnesota Wild would eventually trade a goaltending prospect. The team possessed two similar youngsters in the 23-year-old Hackett and Darcy Kuemper.

With Niklas Backstrom entrenched as the upstart Wild’s No. 1 goalie, there simply wasn’t room for everyone.

Still, when the Wild yanked him from the ice during the team’s morning skate Wednesday, Hackett “was pretty shocked,” he said.

“It just caught me off guard, I guess,” Hackett said by phone Monday.

The Wild had dealt Hackett to …

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Teams have until noon Thursday to claim Cody McCormick. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Naturally, waiving gritty forward Cody McCormick today begs the question; do the struggling Sabres have another move in mind?

“We’ve talked about it,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said this afternoon following a 90-minute practice inside the First Niagara Center. “It hasn’t been confirmed yet.”

Does that mean a recall from Rochester or even a trade could be imminent? Stay tuned.

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle’s Kevin Oklobzija floated the theory McCormick’s roster spot could be used to recall Americans goalie David …

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The Sabres invited Joe Finley to training camp last season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The New York Islanders claimed hulking Rochester Americans defenseman Joe Finley, who played five games with the Sabres last season, off waivers Monday.

“Actually, it was disappointing, but I understand it,” Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said Monday inside the First Niagara Center following an intrasquad scrimmage. “(Isles general manager) Garth Snow called me just before waiver time to give me a courtesy call to let me know they were going to take him.

“While I was surprised, there’s an …

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