Best wishes to RJ

Archive:
McCormick

Chris Stewart zooms toward the net Friday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – If this keeps up, the battle to become the Sabres’ No. 1 goalie could be over soon.

Michal Neuvirth performed poorly in his first preseason action, making only 16 saves in the Sabres’ 6-4 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday inside the First Niagara Center.

The Leafs scored on four of their first seven shots and five of the first 12.

“A tough game, not a lot of shots,” Neuvirth said. “It seemed like every time they had a …

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Tim Schaller has looked impressive this training camp. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Ted Nolan knew very little about Sabres prospect Tim Schaller prior to training camp. The center hasn’t dazzled the coach, but his play away from the puck has been catching Nolan’s eye.

“I just thought his hockey intelligence was evident to a few of us,” Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “He kept doing it day after day after day. We just felt that he deserves an opportunity.”

Schaller, an undrafted free agent from Providence College, will …

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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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Cody McCormick played 27 games with Minnesota last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – As a versatile, smooth-skating forward willing to fight any heavyweight, Cody McCormick had plenty of options as free agency opened. Veterans with the 31-year-old’s talents are coveted, especially with the NHL evolving into a four-line league.

But instead of shopping his services, McCormick told Pat Morris, his agent, to contact one team, the Sabres. He wanted to return to Buffalo, his home.

“Come July 1, we wanted to make sure that that was the first phone call,” McCormick told the …

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Brian Gionta captained Montreal. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – For two weeks, Tim Murray bristled when the media asked him about the salary floor. The rebuilding Sabres would reach it, the general manager said. He wasn’t worried. They would lure strong veteran talent when free agency opened.

“But you’re never sure until the clock hits 12,” Murray said Tuesday inside the First Niagara Center.

When the clock hit noon Tuesday and the market opened, the Sabres, a laughingstock last season, quickly became the NHL’s top destination.

First, they signed respected …

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Tim Murray thinks the Sabres have a strong new leadership group. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Here are some quick quotes from Sabres general manager Tim Murray’s chat with the media following a busy day. Murray was very pleased after signing four players and trading for another. He’s not ready to call the Sabres contender yet, however.

The Sabres began the day $20,580,834 under the cap floor. Now they’re just $55,834 under. Yes, you read that correctly.

Murray on the floor:

“You guys always ask about the floor, which I never understood anyway.”

He added: “It’s easy to …

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Matt Moulson played 44 games with the Sabres last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – At this rate, the Sabres might reach the salary floor later today.

The Sabres have added two more pieces, re-signing old friends Matt Moulson, a high scoring winger, and Cody McCormick, a versatile fighter with skill. They traded both to the Minnesota Wild for draft picks in March.

Update: The Sabres have also signed defenseman Andrej Meszaros to a one-year, $4.125 million contract, according to reports.

Moulson inked a five-year, $25 million contract, according to reports. McCormick, meanwhile, signed a three-year, …

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Ville Leino's Sabres career could end today. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

While it’s hard to believe now, Ville Leino’s arrival in Buffalo almost three years ago was greeted with some fanfare.

Back then, Leino was one of the best free agents on the market. Awarding Leino a stunning six-year, $27 million contract was risky. The Finn only had one full NHL season under his belt. But the signing proved the Sabres wanted to bring in the best talent they could and gun for a Stanley Cup.

Of course, Leino proved to be the …

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Drew Stafford (right) batttles Chicago's Jonathan Toews on Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – About 15 Sabres gathered at a Tampa Bay restaurant Wednesday and nervously watched TSN’s coverage of the NHL trade deadline, unsure what their futures held.

“It was definitely a little stressful, a little anxiety involved,” said Sabres winger Drew Stafford, one veteran rumored to be on the block.

Stomachs churned and filled with butterflies staring at the screen. Everything can change in an instant.

“You’re watching and you’re seeing these guys on this panel that are basically announcing a tremendous change …

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Michal Neuvirth will start in goal Friday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – It wasn’t a normal NHL trade deadline for the rebuilding Sabres. No one was off limits.

“If you look at the majority of the teams, they got one guy maybe they’re thinking about moving,” interim Sabres coach Ted Nolan told reporters today in Tampa Bay, a day after the deadline. “We had almost half our team in the trade mill. We didn’t really know until yesterday.

“There was a lot of anxious moments. One of the players was telling me …

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