On with the summer

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Pysyk

Mark Pysyk played only seven NHL games last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres re-signed defenseman Mark Pysyk to two-year contract worth $2.25 million Tuesday.

Pysyk, who was a restricted free agent, is expected to be a regular next season after playing only seven NHL games in 2014-15.

The 23-year-old will receive $1 million in 2015-16 and $1.25 million in 2016-17, according to CBC’s Tim Wharnsby. He had an $810,000 NHL salary last season.

Despite some strong play as an NHL regular two seasons ago, the Sabres kept Pysyk with the Rochester Americans …

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Carlo Colaiacovo didn't sign a contract until October last year. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Two days after signing a one-year contract with the Sabres, Carlo Colaiacovo hadn’t stopped smiling yet, the defenseman said Sunday.

A year ago, Colaiacovo couldn’t find work. As the summer dragged on, the free agent became uneasy. The stress wore on him.

Colaiacovo eventually decided to bolt to a Russian club in the KHL. But the contract took so long to consummate a one-year-deal with Philadelphia materialized in October before he could leave.

The 32-year-old played sporadically with the Flyers, making …

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Cody Hodgson scored six goals last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Cody Hodgson’s Sabres career is over.

The team put the struggling winger on unconditional waivers Monday, meaning the final four seasons of his six-year, $25.5 million contract will be bought out for one-third the remaining value since he’s under 26 years old.

The Sabres owe him $6.333 million over the next eight years, money that will count against the salary cap until 2022-23, according to generalfanager.com. They must absorb a $1,041,666 hit next season. The number never rises above $791,666 …

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Brendan Guhle enjoyed his visit to Buffalo. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

SUNRISE, Fla. – Brendan Guhle left the NHL Scouting Combine earlier this month in Buffalo feeling good about his future. The defenseman had some impressive pre-draft workouts and felt he interviewed well with the Sabres. He also enjoyed seeing sights around the city during his brief stay.

The 6-foot-1, 184-pound Guhle left Buffalo feeling good about his chances of returning.

Lucky for him, he’ll be visiting again real soon. The Sabres selected the 17-year-old in the second round, 51st overall, with their …

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Zemgus Girgensons could have a long career with the Sabres. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

SUNRISE, Fla. – How good have the Buffalo Sabres drafted in recent years? Judge for yourself below.

Since most drafts don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at the Sabres’ selections from 2007-12 and some notable hits and misses. Sixteen of Buffalo’s 45 draft choices over that time – 36 percent – have made the NHL.

The Sabres have eight picks at this weekend’s NHL Draft, including the No. 2 selection, which they will use to select mega-prospect …

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Mark Pysyk took some hits Friday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

ROCHESTER – For Buffalo Sabres defense prospect Mark Pysyk, taking a couple big hits in the Americans’ 3-2 loss to the Utica Comets on Friday felt good.

“I got back up, nothing happened. That’s a good feeling,” Pysyk said following his return to game action after collapsing during a pickup basketball game Feb. 28 inside the Blue Cross War Memorial. “That’s good for the confidence.”

The Sabres told Pysyk, who suffered a seizure related to dehydration after playing two games with Buffalo, …

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Nikita Zadorov's rookie season was rough at times. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
3

BUFFALO – Tim Murray called his end-of-season meeting with 19-year-old Sabres rookie Nikita Zadorov, whose maturity was an issue all year, an “interview.” In reality, the general manager’s chat with the defenseman was probably more of a lecture.

“A big part of … our talk today was me putting the onus on him to grow, to get better to get fitter and become a man,” Murray said Sunday inside the First Niagara Center. “We’ll see how that goes.”

Zadorov, the No. 16 …

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Marcus Foligno was playing some of his best hockey ever in December. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
5

BUFFALO – Given the Sabres’ sorry state these days, it’s almost difficult to remember now. But for a brief stretch earlier this season, they morphed into a young team on the rise, winning a string of exciting games in dramatic fashion.

The rebuilding club triumphed 10 times in 13 games – they have only 20 victories in 75 outings all season – during a rollicking run in November and December, roaring back night after night.

The Sabres were never out of any …

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Patrick Kaleta should return next week. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – If Patrick Kaleta keeps progressing, the Sabres winger will likely miss three more games and return from his knee injury next Thursday against Arizona.

“It’s just how it reacts to battle drills and divots and all that sort of stuff,” Kaleta said Thursday after his first full practice. “I have more mobility in my knee now, so it’s building up the strength and getting the movements down. Once you start doing things that you’re not used to doing, it …

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Matt Ellis (37) skates Monday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – To Sabres center Matt Ellis, the AHL’s experiment with three-on-three overtime this season has created “a really exciting brand” of hockey.

The extra space allows players to freewheel all over the ice and have fun. Systems become an afterthought.

“The speed and the skill really shines through, the amount of open ice,” Ellis, who played 38 games in Rochester this season, said Monday prior to the Sabres’ 4-3 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals. “It’s incredible to see it, and …

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