On with the summer

Archive:
Ott

Patrick Kaleta tore his ACL in Rochester last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Finally, 33 games into his season, Patrick Kaleta is buzzing around the ice regularly looking to thump opponents, a sign the aggressive Sabres winger has recovered from a torn ACL.

“It looks like he got his legs underneath him,” coach Ted Nolan said Tuesday prior to the Sabres’ 2-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators inside the First Niagara Center. “He’s searching for those big hits. You can just tell … his timing’s getting a lot better.”

Hits can be a …

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Cody Hodgson has two goals and eight points this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Cody Hodgson’s benching could last for a bit.

“Maybe two or three (games). Maybe four or five. Who knows?” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center.

The struggling Sabres winger, who has two goals and eight points in 51 games, will sit out tonight’s tilt against the Ottawa Senators, the second straight game he has been scratched.

The 24-year-old must wait to return, Nolan said.

“We’re going to work him a little bit harder,” he said.

Of course, …

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St. Louis goalie Jake Allen stones Brian Flynn on a third-period breakaway. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Thursday’s 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues was the Sabres’ 34th defeat this season and their 15th setback in the last 16 games. But against an NHL powerhouse, the league’s worst team held its own, carrying the play for stretches and generating some prime scoring chances.

If the Sabres converted a couple of opportunities – they had two clear-cut breakaways – then they might have upset the NHL’s hottest team. Instead, an opponent shut them out for the ninth …

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Steve Ott played two seasons in Buffalo. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – They’re still all over town. Go to a Sabres game, walk around the mall or do some grocery shopping, and you’ll inevitably see someone wearing a No. 9 Steve Ott Sabres jersey.

“Must’ve been on sale when I got traded or something,” Ott joked Thursday prior to the St. Louis Blues’ 3-0 win, his first game in Buffalo since the Sabres dealt him Feb. 28. “I don’t know. Maybe they were just giving them away when I got moved …

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Steve Ott hasn't played a game in Buffalo yet with St. Louis. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Look out, Patrick Kaleta. Former Sabres captain Steve Ott said he wants a little revenge for the time you guys fought almost five years ago.

“He doesn’t really know, but I still owe him one for raising the roof when we got in a fight here,” Ott joked today after his St. Louis Blues prepared for tonight’s game. “I’ll be playing him a little harder than the others. But Patty’s one of my good buddies. Like them all out …

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Chris Stewart has been the Sabres' best forward recently. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Ted Nolan’s response raised some eyebrows. Coaches, after all, rarely acknowledge they have players who are ready to leave town.

But Tuesday in Montreal, hours before the Sabres’ 3-2 win ended their 14-game losing streak, Nolan, whose rebuilding club will likely be selling off assets soon, went a step further.

“We got some guys who could be very beneficial to some playoff teams,” Nolan replied when asked if coaching could be tougher because some players know they might be moved. …

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Steve Ott joined the Blues in February. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Part of Steve Ott will always remain with the Sabres. The gritty 32-year-old quickly became one of the city’s most popular athletes during his two-year tenure, his blue-collar style resonating in a hardworking fan base.

“I like to think that I was a part of that organization for the right reasons,” Ott, whose St. Louis Blues host the Sabres tonight, said by phone Monday morning. “When you wear a sweater of a team, it will always hold a piece …

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Brian Gionta talks about being named captain Tuesday. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – For five years, Josh Gorges watched Brian Gionta closely. Gionta’s Stanley Cup ring offered him instant credibility in the Montreal dressing room. But Gorges quickly learned why Gionta won a championship.

Gorges noticed the professionalism Gionta exhibited, the strong habits that made him a leader and respected captain.

“I’ve said this all along, when you’re a young guy coming into a team … who do you look to in the room and say, ‘This is who I got to follow …

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Brian Gionta signed with the Sabres on July 1. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres coach Ted Nolan today named 35-year-old winger Brian Gionta the 19th full-season captain in franchise history.

Defenseman Josh Gorges and winger Matt Moulson have been named alternates.

The Sabres haven’t had a captain since Steve Ott left in February.

Check back for details and quotes later!

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Sam Reinhart skates last week at the NHL Prospects Tournament. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – If you love roster battles, the next three weeks of Sabres training camp should be fun.

About 34 players have a legitimate chance to crack the opening-night lineup. They have a prized prospect, slick center Sam Reinhart, vying for a spot. The starting goalie job is up for grabs. Defense spots are open. Nine or 10 guys will be competing for three fourth-line spots.

Players report for physicals today. The first on-ice session is Friday. Incredibly, the Sabres play their …

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