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Nelson

Cody Franson suffered a season-ending injury Feb. 19. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

How remarkably healthy did the Buffalo blue line stay in 2015-16? The Sabres recalled a defenseman as an injury replacement just once.

Think about that. Over the course of the grueling six-month, 82-game season, the Sabres only dipped into the AHL on March 18, when they summoned Chad Ruhwedel to sub for Carlo Colaiacovo prior to their 72nd contest. Ruhwedel played that night and was quickly returned to the Rochester Americans.

The Sabres almost certainly won’t be so lucky injury-wise next season. …

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Tim Murray won't let himself worry about Jimmy Vesey. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The constant talk about whether former Harvard University star Jimmy Vesey will sign with the Sabres amazes general manager Tim Murray.

No one, of course, has more invested in Vesey than Murray, who traded a third-round pick for the Hobey Baker Award winner’s rights on June 20, a deal he has called a “gamble.”

If Vesey signs, Murray might have a first- or second-line winger to skate beside Jack Eichel or Ryan O’Reilly. If Vesey, 23, looks elsewhere, Murray must …

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Casey Nelson signs his jersey for a fan in April. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres have signed defenseman Casey Nelson, who joined the NHL straight from the NCAA in March, to a two-year contract extension, the team announced today.

The deal is worth $650,000 per season, according to generalfanager.com. Nelson, 23, would have become a restricted free agent Friday.

The Wisconsin native compiled four assists in seven NHL contests last season. The Sabres signed him as a free agent after he completed his junior season at Minnesota State University, where he scored 14 …

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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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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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Ryan O'Reilly was named team MVP Friday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – In his first season as coach, Dan Bylsma has experienced so much excitement surrounding the Sabres he wonders how crazy it would feel if his team becomes a contender again.

The Sabres, of course, will miss the playoffs for the fifth straight season. Still, to a rabid fan base yearning for postseason hockey, the progress the Sabres have made this season – they’ve improved 25 points with newcomers Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly and others – offers strong hope for …

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Jason Kasdorf turned pro last month. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – To Sabres goalie Jason Kasdorf, who will make his NHL debut in tonight’s home finale against the Columbus Blue Jackets, experiencing some nerves before games feels good.

“I’m just kind of naturally that way,” an excited Kasdorf said this morning. “Even for college games, I’d get nervous for them. It’s just who I am.”

Kasdorf, who said he slept well last night, will likely feel some extra nerves tonight, when he becomes the fourth goalie to start for the Sabres …

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Hudson Fasching has been busy doing homework. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – On Wednesday night, hours before Sabres rookie Hudson Fasching had to be at the First Niagara Center to prepare for his fourth NHL game, he was in his hotel room taking a quiz.

Fasching, 20, has kept working toward his entrepreneurial management degree since leaving the University of Minnesota last week following his junior season. He’s taking classes online and is on track to graduate in May.

Three nights earlier, Fasching wrote a one-page paper – it was a case …

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Chad Johnson made 42 saves Tuesday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

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
0

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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