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Perreault

Phil Housley electrified Buffalo fans in the 1980s. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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Doubt crept into Phil Housley’s head as the Hockey Hall of Fame passed him over year after year. Since 2006, three years after he ended an often spectacular 21-year career, the former Buffalo Sabres star defenseman patiently waited for a life-changing phone call.

Housley, who amassed 1,232 points in 1,495 games, was starting to think the call might never come.

Then on Monday, as Housley was about to eat lunch at a restaurant in Arizona, his phone rang. The Hall of Fame …

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Ryan O'Reilly spent six seasons in Colorado. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly’s ready to tackle a new challenge. During his first six NHL seasons, the 24-year-old wasn’t viewed as one of the Avalanche’s leaders. Colorado stars Matt Duchesne, Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon often overshadowed him.

But O’Reilly, acquired in a blockbuster deal Friday at the NHL Draft, will have a new role next season. The Sabres want him to be one of the guys to shepherd a team filled with youngsters.

“I think it’s going to be …

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Jack Eichel would likely be the No. 1 pick in any other year. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

TORONTO – With only a 20 percent chance of winning, Tim Murray expected the Sabres would lose the NHL Draft Lottery tonight. The general manager was right. Sorry, Buffalo, Connor McDavid is going to the Edmonton Oilers.

The Oilers, with only an 11.5 percent chance, snagged hockey’s most coveted prospect.

The Sabres, of course, received a pretty nice consolation prize, slick Boston University center Jack Eichel. The 18-year-old Boston native would likely be the No. 1 pick in any other draft.

Eichel, the …

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Patrick Kaleta practiced Thursday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Patrick Kaleta’s face was mangled.

“Broke a bunch of things in there,” the oft-injured Sabres winger said Thursday following practice inside the First Niagara Center.

Kaleta said doctors inserted three plates and 14 screws after a shot hit him in the face during a Sept. 28 preseason game in Toronto. The 28-year-old has experienced blurred vision and migraines.

Still, less than three weeks after the scary incident, the Angola native is on the road back to game action. He skated with …

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Terry Pegula's passion struck a chord with Sabres fans. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

To a certain degree, the euphoria sweeping through Western New York today was felt once before, on Feb. 22, 2011, when Terry Pegula was introduced as the Sabres’ fourth owner.

Of course, Pegula’s reported purchase of the Buffalo Bills is much different.

While the Sabres weren’t in danger of moving, there was a feeling he had rescued the franchise. With the Sabres among the NHL’s bottom-feeders, it’s easy to forget now, but that day was among the most emotional sports days in …

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Ted Black (left) and Colin Campbell talk Monday. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – To Colin Campbell, who’s spent his life in hockey as a player, coach and executive, this city has a special place in the game.

“Buffalo, for a lot of hockey people, is almost like an Original Six team,” Campbell, the senior executive vice president of NHL Hockey Operations, said Monday in announcing the Sabres had landed the NHL Scouting Combine. “It’s been here for a long time, a lot of history here and a lot of things have happened …

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Colin Campbell speaks this afternoon. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Before the NHL Scouting Combine could move here, commissioner Gary Bettman told Colin Campbell, one of his top lieutenants, the league had to allow all 30 teams a crack at the event

“We had a lot of interest,” Campbell, the senior executive vice president of NHL Hockey Operations, said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center.

Eventually, the NHL whittled its list down to two cities, Buffalo and Pittsburgh.

“Buffalo was heads and tails above everyone else,” Campbell said during a …

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Florida selected Aleksander Barkov second overall last year. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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PHILADELPHIA – How good are the Buffalo Sabres’ odds of nabbing a franchise talent with the No. 2 pick tonight? Take a look at the list below.

It can be argued the last 15 picks have been strong hits. The list includes 50-goal scorers, perennial NHL All-Stars and even future Hall of Famers.

In their 44-year history, the Sabres have never owned the second pick. Twice they’ve had the No. 1 pick, 1970, when they chose Gilbert Perreault, and 1987, when they …

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Zenon Konopka takes a draw against New Jersey's Adam Henrique on Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Zenon Konopka’s travel ordeal began Friday night shortly after his flight from Minnesota landed in New York. First, the center’s short flight here was delayed four hours. Then the airline canceled it.

“The tough part was they said they could get me in Sunday,” Konopka, a waiver acquisition, said Saturday prior to his Sabres a debut, a 2-1 win against the New Jersey Devils inside the First Niagara Center. “I said, ‘That’s not going to work.’”

Konopka eventually switched airports, …

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Zenon Konopka chats with reporters this morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Zenon Konopka’s travel ordeal began Friday night shortly after landing in New York from Minnesota. First, the center’s flight was delayed four hours. Then the airline canceled it.

“The tough part was they said they could get me in Sunday,” Konopka, who was claimed on waivers by the Sabres on Friday, said this morning after skating briefly inside the First Niagara Center. “I said, ‘That’s not going to work.’”

Konopka eventually switched airports, going from LaGuardia to JFK.

But the airline …

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