Best wishes to RJ

Archive:
Regier

Mikhail Grigorenko keeps the puck away from Jake McCabe during Tuesday's scrimmage. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – The comments are significant, Mikhail Grigorenko’s most telling since joining the Sabres months after they selected him 12th overall in 2012.

In a hallway outside the First Niagara Center dressing room hours before a development camp scrimmage Tuesday, the 20-year-old Russian spoke candidly about his short career, blaming himself for his NHL struggles.

“From past experiences, I kind of realized it was probably no one’s fault but mine I didn’t stay in the NHL,” Grigorenko said. “I want to play …

Read More --->
Darcy Regier was fired in November. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

Welcome back to the NHL, Darcy Regier.

The former Buffalo Sabres general manager has been hired as the senior vice president and assistant GM of the Arizona Coyotes. The 58-year-old hadn’t been heard from since the Sabres fired him after a wretched 4-15-1 start in November.

“Thrilled to bring him on,” GM Don Maloney said in an interview with the team. “I think he’s a great resource for the organization, for me. He’s intelligent creative, experienced, knows the league, knows people in …

Read More --->
Christian Ehrhoff will sign another big contract soon. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Despite a manageable $4 million cap hit and $22 million of Christian Ehrhoff’s 10-year, $40 million contract already paid, the Sabres didn’t want to keep the defenseman.

Why?

If Ehrhoff retired early, the Sabres could’ve been charged a huge cap recapture penalty, as much as $10 million, according to capgeek.com. Imagine having that dead money eating up space when the Sabres need to lock up their youngsters in several years.

So the Sabres used their second compliance buyout on the final …

Read More --->
Florida selected Aaron Ekblad No. 1. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

PHILADELPHIA – The Buffalo Sabres’ chances of winning the Connor McDavid sweepstakes could be taking a small hit.

General manager Tim Murray said Friday the NHL will likely alter its draft lottery next year.

What’s going to happen?

Murray said the odds of the league’s worst team getting the No. 1 pick will drop from 25 percent to about 19 or 20 percent. The tradeoff? The 30th team can’t fall past the No. 2 spot.

The Sabres, despite a league-low 52 points last season, …

Read More --->
The Sabres waived Ville Leino on Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – As expected, the Sabres placed Ville Leino on unconditional waivers Tuesday and will be using a compliance buyout on the final three seasons of the Finn’s six-year, $27 million deal, ridding themselves of perhaps the worst contract in NHL history.

Yes, the worst ever.

When he wasn’t battling a series of injuries, the 30-year-old forward produced only 10 goals and 46 points in 137 games with the Sabres, including zero goals in 58 appearances during a wretched 2013-14 campaign.

The Sabres …

Read More --->
Ville Leino found the Sabres took themselves too seriously when he first arrived. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – With Ville Leino’s Sabres career over, here’s a timeline of the enigmatic forward’s short three-year run. Expectations started high and, well, quickly dwindled.

Leino, as you’ll see, was never afraid to speak his mind.

July 1, 2011, the day the Sabres signed Leino to his infamous six-year, $27 million contract and switched him from wing to center:

“I talked to him about all three positions, and he’s comfortable at all three,” former Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. “But his position that …

Read More --->
Ville Leino's Sabres career is over. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – As expected, the Sabres have placed Ville Leino on unconditional waivers and will be using a compliance buyout on the final three seasons of the Finn’s six-year, $27 million deal, ridding themselves of perhaps the worst contract in NHL history.

Yes, the worst ever.

When he wasn’t battling a series of injuries, the 30-year-old forward produced only 10 goals and 46 points in 137 games with the Sabres, including zero goals in 58 appearances in 2013-14.

Sabres general manager Tim Murray, …

Read More --->
Ville Leino's Sabres career could end today. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

While it’s hard to believe now, Ville Leino’s arrival in Buffalo almost three years ago was greeted with some fanfare.

Back then, Leino was one of the best free agents on the market. Awarding Leino a stunning six-year, $27 million contract was risky. The Finn only had one full NHL season under his belt. But the signing proved the Sabres wanted to bring in the best talent they could and gun for a Stanley Cup.

Of course, Leino proved to be the …

Read More --->
Tim Murray discussed the Sabres' future bluntly Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Tim Murray has thought about how an NHL team could tank a season. The general manager even discussed some scenarios with the media. But he has no intention of keeping the Sabres at the bottom of the league.

With a couple of franchise-altering talents available in the 2015 draft, plenty of teams could purposely field less-than-stellar lineups next year.

The Sabres, whose previous regime played for draft picks, won’t be among them.

“I don’t know how to do it properly, I …

Read More --->
Mike Weber talks to the media Monday. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Mike Weber spoke passionately, like a man embarrassed by what he had just experienced. The worst season in the Sabres’ 43-year history clearly jolted the defenseman.

“You don’t want that feeling walking around town that you’ve disappointed people or you’re letting people down, especially a hardworking city like Buffalo,” Weber said Monday inside the First Niagara Center. “I think to every man we’ve accepted the challenge.”

Weber talked about changing the team’s culture, eliminating excuses and playing hockey for the …

Read More --->