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McCabe

Alex Biega made his NHL debut Feb. 16. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Alex Biega had finally cracked an NHL roster. For 10 days in December, the defenseman earned a fatter paycheck and practiced with the Vancouver Canucks.

But, oddly enough, the 26-year-old former Sabres prospect never played. He got tantalizingly close to game action once, dressing for the pregame warm-up.

“It wasn’t frustrating, but I guess I was antsy just to get in,” Biega said by phone Wednesday after the Canucks landed in Buffalo. “I wanted to get that opportunity to play. …

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Jake McCabe played twice this week. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres sent defenseman Jake McCabe to the Rochester Americans this afternoon, meaning Nikita Zadorov will likely return from a two-game benching Thursday.

McCabe played twice during his first NHL recall this season. The Amerks host Syracuse tonight.

Sabres coach Ted Nolan sat Zadorov because the 19-year-old was late to a team meeting Sunday morning. The Sabres host the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.

Update: The NHL has fined Sabres goalie Michal Neuvirth $2,000 for diving/embellishment in Sunday’s 2-1 shootout loss to …

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Nikita Zadorov will likely sit out tonight. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Each time Nikita Zadorov violates a team rule, it’s important to remember the Sabres defenseman wasn’t drafted by Tim Murray. The gruff general manager isn’t tied to the Russian.

Sure, Zadorov, the 16th pick in 2013, is an elite prospect. At just 19 years old, he’s already a big contributor to the Sabres. Zadorov recently compiled seven points in seven games. The Sabres scored only 16 times in that stretch. He could be a franchise cornerstone very soon.

But Murray’s …

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Nikita Zadorov will likely sit another game. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – For the second time in less than a month, Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov stood up before his teammates and apologized for breaking a rule.

On Sunday morning, the Sabres benched the 19-year-old Russian for showing up to a meeting late.

“I just feel sorry this happened. … I couldn’t do that,” Zadorov said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “It was my mistake, 100 percent, no excuses, couldn’t do that. I spoke with the team, I said, ‘I’m sorry, …

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Jake McCabe made his NHL season debut Sunday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres coach Ted Nolan offered no details about Nikita Zadorov’s benching Sunday, only saying the defenseman was getting scratched for violating team rules, another episode in the 19-year-old’s turbulent rookie season.

“We had a number of discussions, and another thing happened this morning,” Nolan said prior to the Sabres’ 2-1 shootout loss to the Nashville Predators inside the First Niagara Center. “We’ll talk to him again.”

The Sabres needed Zadorov badly against the NHL’s best team. Three defensemen are ailing.

Josh …

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Nikita Zadorov was suspended last month. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov will be scratched for tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators for “team reasons,” coach Ted Nolan said this morning.

The 19-year-old Zadorov, whose maturity has been a problem all season, was suspended last month after his flight back to Buffalo following the NHL All-Star break was oversold.

“It’s just part of the growing process,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. “We’ll just have to deal with him. He’s a 19-year-old. Sometimes you’re mature in certain …

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Nikita Zadorov (51) has been scratched all six games this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The complicated situation involving Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov, a healthy scratch all six games this season, could be resolved in the next 48 hours, the Russian’s agent said Sunday night.

The Sabres have essentially been stashing the 19-year-old prospect on their roster.

Here’s the issue: Zadorov, as a European, can’t be sent back to the London Knights, his junior team, because he doesn’t have a release from the Russian club that owns his rights. The Sabres don’t believe Zadorov’s ready …

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Patrick Kaleta practiced Thursday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Patrick Kaleta’s face was mangled.

“Broke a bunch of things in there,” the oft-injured Sabres winger said Thursday following practice inside the First Niagara Center.

Kaleta said doctors inserted three plates and 14 screws after a shot hit him in the face during a Sept. 28 preseason game in Toronto. The 28-year-old has experienced blurred vision and migraines.

Still, less than three weeks after the scary incident, the Angola native is on the road back to game action. He skated with …

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Patrick Kaleta was injured Sept. 28. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Patrick Kaleta’s face was mangled.

“Broke a bunch of things in there,” the oft-injured Sabres winger said this afternoon following practice inside the First Niagara Center.

Kaleta said doctors inserted three plates and 14 screws after a shot hit him in the face during a Sept. 28 preseason game in Toronto. The 28-year-old has experienced blurred vision and migraines.

Still, less than three weeks after the scary incident, the Angola native is on the road back to game action. He skated …

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Ted Nolan coached the first game in the First Niagara Center almost 18 years ago. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Whether you’ve been in the NHL for 50 years or this is your first season, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said, “opening night’s always exciting.”

“Butterflies floating around like crazy,” Nolan said Wednesday after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s season opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets. “If it doesn’t happen, something’s going to be wrong.”

Tonight will be extra special for Nolan, who’s beginning his first full season as Sabres coach since 1996-97. He hasn’t coached an NHL team on opening …

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