Free Agency Time

Archive:
McCabe

Kyle Okposo will sign a lucrative contract. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The pickings are so slim in NHL free agency this year, perhaps the most coveted player available, Kyle Okposo, has never cracked the 30-goal or 70-point marks.

Okposo, of course, is a talented winger. The Minnesota native is coming off a 22-goal, 64-point season with the New York Islanders. He has 139 goals and 369 points in 529 NHL games over nine years, including three 20-goal seasons and two 60-point campaigns.

Yes, Okposo has been productive over the years. But …

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Jake McCabe (left) battles St. Louis' David Backes last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres have re-signed defenseman Jake McCabe to a three-year, $4.8 million contract extension, according to multiple reports.

McCabe, 22, would have become a restricted free agent Friday.

The Wisconsin native played his first full NHL season in 2015-16, compiling four goals, 14 points, 51 penalty minutes and a plus-6 rating in 77 games.

The Sabres drafted McCabe 44th overall in 2012.

Update: The Sabres have also re-signed Williamsville native Cole Schneider to a one-year, two-way contract, the team announced tonight. The …

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Mark Pysyk figured he was in the Sabres' plans. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Fresh off his first full NHL season, Mark Pysyk figured he was in the Sabres’ long-term plans. With the defenseman skating regular minutes in 55 games, the team improved 27 points, moving from last overall to 23rd.

“I wasn’t really banking on anything happening,” Pysyk told the Times Herald by phone Sunday.

Then Saturday morning, as Pysyk slept, his phone began lighting up with calls and texts. Eventually, his fiancé informed him the Sabres had just traded him to the …

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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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Auston Matthews should visit Buffalo with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 3. ©2016, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – After the Sabres open their season Oct. 13 at home against the Montreal Canadiens, they start a four-game road trip – longer than any swing they had last season – three days later against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.

That’s just one notable stretch of the 82-game 2016-17 schedule the NHL released Tuesday.

The Sabres, who went 19-17-5 on the road last season, better get comfortable playing away from the First Niagara Center early, as eight of their first …

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Carlo Colaiacovo enjoys mentoring young players. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Carlo Colaiacovo’s goal when he signed a one-year contract in July was pretty straightforward. Following three seasons of sporadic duty, the veteran defenseman wanted to become an everyday player again with the Sabres.

“When I signed in Buffalo, I believed that opportunity was there for me, and obviously things change,” Colaiacovo said last week.

Things changed a lot on the blue line in a hurry.

The Sabres signed Cody Franson days before training camp started. Jake McCabe, a prospect on the …

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Chad Johnson talks Sunday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Chad Johnson often talks about his desire to be a starting goalie, so not surprisingly, the Sabres veteran has already examined the jobs that could be open when he hits unrestricted free agency July 1.

“It’s hard not to,” Johnson said Sunday as the Sabres held their end-of-season meetings. “I try to stay as in the moment (as possible). I’m not going say which teams, but there’s four teams that need goaltenders or starting goaltenders or don’t have guys …

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Chad Johnson made 42 saves Tuesday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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PITTSBURGH – What was shaping up to be the Buffalo Sabres’ most impressive and unlikely win this season quickly turned into a nightmare Tuesday and ended with another loss to the Penguins.

After going up 3-0 before the first period ended inside a stunned Consol Energy Center, the Sabres completely imploded during a disastrous second, allowing four goals, including two late short-handed scores during the same power play.

“I thought we were feeling good, then we took our foot off the pedal,” …

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Jake McCabe has established himself with the Sabres this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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PITTSBURGH – Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe understands how valuable the late-season NHL experience rookies Hudson Fasching and Casey Nelson have been gaining will be for their development.

Two years ago, McCabe, 22, left the University of Wisconsin following his junior year. McCabe loved college and wanted to stay with the Badgers. Still, as a former second-round pick ready for pro hockey, he knew he needed to join the Sabres.

“It made too much sense for me to leave,” McCabe said Tuesday …

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Sabres goalie Chad Johnson stops Ottawa's Bobby Ryan on Friday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – In the span of six months, Sabres goalie Chad Johnson has been a backup, a starter, part of a platoon with rookie Linus Ullmark and a backup again.

For this weekend at least, with Robin Lehner sidelined, Johnson is the Sabres’ top netminder again.

Johnson started Friday’s 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators inside the First Niagara Center, his fifth straight victory, and will get another nod tonight in Toronto against the Maple Leafs, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said.

Lehner could …

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