Thomas Vanek began his point bonanza on opening day. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Crazy early pace by Sabres’ Vanek could help shatter short-season records

The scoring benchmarks set during the only other lockout-shortened season – the 48-game 1994-95 campaign – are steep. The NHL hadn’t fully devolved into a clutch-and-grab league then.

Top scorers still racked up some pretty gaudy numbers.

Peter Bondra’s 34 goals, two more than Jaromir Jagr, topped the league. Jagr and Eric Lindros both scored 70 points. Ron Francis had 48 assists.

With an utterly dominant three-goal, five-point performance in the Buffalo Sabres’ dizzying ... Read the full article

Drew Stafford thinks a 48-game schedule would be a grind. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

1994-95 Sabres recall fun and intense 48-game season

BUFFALO – Buckle up, Sabres fans. You could be watching a lot of intense, high-stakes hockey very soon.

If the NHL and the Players’ Association reach a new collective bargaining agreement by next Friday’s deadline, the league will most likely begin a shortened 48-game schedule against conference opponents Jan. 19.

Sure, losing 34 contests from the normal 82-game slate may be disappointing. But the increased importance of each game could make for some wildly entertaining ... Read the full article

Rick Jeanneret's induction into the Sabres' Hall of Fame kicked off a string of honors, including today's, the Hockey Hall of Fame's Foster Hewitt Memorial Award. ©2012, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Rick Jeanneret still going strong as Hall honor arrives

BUFFALO – The scene plays out just about each time Rick Jeanneret walks around in public. Inevitably, fans stop the Sabres’ legendary announcer and tell him how much they enjoy the team’s broadcast.

Then they make a short plea to the play-by-play veteran, whose enthusiasm and passionate calls have made him a local icon.

“The other thing they say is, ‘Please don’t retire,’” Jeanneret, who will be honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame on ... Read the full article

©2012

Grigorenko could crack Sabres’ opening-night lineup

BUFFALO – If all goes well, then come October, Mikhail Grigorenko, the prized center selected 12th overall Friday at the NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh, will be the first 18-year-old playing regularly for the Sabres since Pierre Turgeon in 1987.

The Sabres, who introduced Grigorenko on Monday inside the First Niagara Center, plan to give the Russian every chance to make the big club instead of going back to the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts.

General ... Read the full article

The Sabres were thrilled slick Russian Mikhail Grigorenko fell to them at No. 12. ©2012, Quebec Remparts

Sabres draft 2 centers during wild first round

PITTSBURGH – The defensemen kept going and going at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft; seven straight after the Montreal Canadiens selected center Alex Galchenyuk third overall, in fact.

For the Buffalo Sabres, a team targeting a talented center, the planets aligned Friday night inside the Consol Energy Center.

They got two.

Incredibly, picking 12th, the Sabres grabbed a Russian, Mikhail Grigorenko, a slick playmaking center from the QMJHL’s Quebec Ramparts ranked No. 3 ... Read the full article

©2012

Former Sabre Cyr passes away

BUFFALO – Paul Cyr, the ninth overall pick by the Sabres in 1982 and a veteran of 342 games with the club, died recently of heart failure, according to the Victoria Times Colonist. He was 48.

Cyr suffered a heart attack and from diabetes-related complications, CHEK in British Columbia reported.

The winger was part of one of the Sabres’ best draft classes ever, getting selected between future stars Phil Housley and Dave Andreychuk in a ... Read the full article