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McNabb

The Sabres recalled Nathan Lieuwen today. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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The Sabres recalled goalie Nathan Lieuwen from Rochester today. What’s the 22-year-old endured to make the NHL?

A lot.

I wrote this in July 2011 just a couple of weeks after the Sabres drafted him.

LEWISTON – Yeah, Nathan Lieuwen thought the worst. The Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect is only human, you know. He knew the two scary concussions that had derailed his promising junior hockey career could potentially force him to retire as teenager.

“It crossed my mind,” Lieuwen, the 167th pick by …

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Nicolas Deslauriers has never played in the NHL. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres have recalled wingers Luke Adam and Nicolas Deslauriers from Rochester on an emergency basis. They could play tonight in Florida.

Forwards Zemgus Girgensons and Chris Stewart left Thursday’s 3-1 in Tampa Bay after suffering lower-body injuries and are likely out against the Panthers.

Interim coach Ted Nolan said the Sabres probably wouldn’t summon anyone because winger Cory Conacher, a waiver acquisition, was set to join the club and they have center Zenon Konopka as a spare.

Adam has 24 …

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Matt Moulson played less than one season with the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Tim Murray said he began his first NHL trade deadline day as a general manager with no expectations, unsure which direction the rebuilding Sabres might go.

By the end Wednesday, Murray had made three notable deals, trading familiar names like Matt Moulson, Cody McCormick and Brayden McNabb while acquiring NHL talent and prospects. He also grabbed Canisius product Cory Conacher off waivers.

Murray, who sent franchise goalie Ryan Miller and captain Steve Ott to St. Louis on Friday, called it …

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Tim Murray speaks to the media today. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Tim Murray’s first NHL trade deadline as general manager was a busy one. The Sabres made three deals, sending veterans Jaroslav Halak, Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick away. Murray also made one surprising deal, trading prospect Brayden McNabb to the Los Angeles Kings.

Here’s more from Murray:

On if today was a good day:

“I think it’s a good day. I think the combination of the picks that we’ve added and the young players we’ve added, I think it gives us …

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Brayden McNabb played 12 games with the Sabres earlier this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres have made their first trade of the day, sending 23-year-old defenseman Brayden McNabb and two second-round picks to the Los Angeles Kings for 18-year-old wing prospect Hudson Fasching and 23-year-old AHL winger Nicolas Deslauriers.

Fasching, the 118th overall pick in June, has 12 goals and 27 goals in 31 games as a freshman at the University of Minnesota. The American’s 6-foot-2 and 207 pounds.

Deslauriers, the 84th overall pick in 2009, has 18 goals and 39 points in …

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Andrej Sekera (4) and Nathan Gerbe left the Sabres after last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – At first, Nathan Gerbe said, he didn’t understand why the Sabres waived and bought him out in early July. The diminutive winger had no inkling they had given up on him after five seasons.

“I didn’t know it was coming, that’s for sure,” Gerbe said Thursday prior to the Carolina Hurricanes’ 5-3 win inside the First Niagara Center. “No one spoke to me about it. So I think you get a little shocked. But it’s a business and you …

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Phil Varone should make his NHL debut tonight. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The thinking was the Sabres, with eight defensemen at their disposal, would likely send one to Rochester.

Sure enough, they assigned rookie Brayden McNabb to the AHL with forward Kevin Porter, who’s finally healthy after getting hit into the boards Dec. 21.

But in a surprising move, the Sabres also recalled a youngster Wednesday afternoon, center Phil Varone, the Americans’ leading scorer. The 23-year-old prospect will likely play tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes inside the First Niagara Center.

Varone has never …

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Phil Varone is Rochester's leading scorer. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres have recalled center Phil Varone, Rochester’s leading scorer, according to the Democrat and Chronicle’s Kevin Oklobzija.

The 23-year-old Varone has never played in the NHL or even in an exhibition contest. But he’s impressed this season in the AHL, compiling eight goals and 33 points in 38 games with the Americans.

The Sabres inked Varone two years ago after San Jose, which selected him 147th overall in 2009, didn’t sign him. His 52 points topped the Amerks in …

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Ryan Miller gloves RJ Umberger's one-timer Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – A little more than halfway through the first period in Columbus’ 4-3 shootout victory Saturday, Sabres defenseman Jamie McBain pinched into the right circle was tripped by Nick Foligno, creating a two-on-one break.

With only defenseman Brayden McNabb defending, Foligno zoomed down the left wing into the circle and dished to RJ Umberger, who one-timed the feed.

Incredibly, Sabres goalie Ryan Miller got across his crease and snagged Umberger’s shot.

Here’s how Miller explained the scintillating glove stop:

“I got a little …

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Ryan Miller is getting ready to play for Team USA at the Sochi Games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Ryan Miller appreciates Pat LaFontaine’s kind words. The hockey icon lauded his franchise goalie last week, telling reporters the Sabres would do their best to accommodate the former Vezina Trophy winner if he wants to stay here.

“It’s nice of him,” Miller, an unrestricted free agent following the season, said Saturday inside the Riverside Ice Rink. “I still need to kind of see what’s going on in the bigger picture.”

Miller said he still hasn’t spoken to new general manager …

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