Best wishes to RJ

Archive:
Rochester Americans

Joel Armia rolls in on a breakaway as the New York Rangers’ Troy Donnay (53) gives chase Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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So far, the Sabres are 0-2 in the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich., with just two goals scored. They’ve had some chances, though.

Our Dan Hickling captured 2011 first-round selection Joel Armia roaring in on a breakaway in Saturday’s 2-1 overtime loss to the New York Rangers. The winger, who’s likely ticketed for Rochester in a few weeks, was stopped.

The Sabres have today off before playing the Dallas Stars on Monday.

Please follow Dan and Margaret for great photo updates!

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Andre Benoit has played nine professional seasons. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Andre Benoit never stayed on a straight path to the NHL. The Sabres defenseman zigzagged, even backtracked, all across the globe before earning an opportunity.

After two seasons in Montreal’s organization, Benoit bolted for Europe out of frustration over his playing time. When he returned and briefly cracked the NHL with Ottawa, he jetted to Russia to earn more money.

All the while, Benoit, an undersized 5-foot-11, kept posting big offensive numbers. But by the time he reached 29, he …

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Jack Eichel could be taken No. 2 next year. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Jack Eichel, a slick center many project to be the No. 2 draft pick next year, headlines the 42-man roster USA Hockey released today for the upcoming All-American Prospects Game.

The Sept. 25 tilt at the First Niagara Center features the top U.S. players eligible for the 2015 draft.

Eichel, a Boston University freshman, could be one of the top American prospects ever. He’s expected to be drafted behind center Connor McDavid, whose Erie Otters play Oct. 22 in Buffalo.

The …

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Kevin Devine has been with the Sabres 17 years. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Kevin Devine has been reassigned to director of player personnel, one of several front office changes the Sabres announced today.

Devine served as assistant general manager under former GM Darcy Regier.

In addition, Randy Cunneyworth has been named player development coach. Cunneyworth, Rochester’s former coach, mostly worked in player development with the AHL club last season. Dennis Miller, the old player development coach, is still with the organization, a team spokesman said.

Meanwhile, Jerry Forton, an assistant coach last season, has …

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Tim Murray, who's scouting this week in Lake Placid, hired his own people. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Seven months after becoming Sabres general manager, Tim Murray has put his stamp on the front office, hiring a new assistant GM and two scouting directors.

Mark Jakubowski has been promoted to Murray’s assistant, the team announced Monday. Jakubowski was the assistant to the GM under Darcy Regier, Murray’s predecessor. Rob Murphy has been named scouting director. Greg Royce has been named amateur scouting director. Murray worked with Murphy and Royce with the Ottawa Senators.

Kevin Devine, Regier’s assistant GM …

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Luke Adam played 12 NHL games last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres have re-signed forward Luke Adam to a one-year, two-way contract, the team announced today.

Adam enjoyed an outstanding AHL season in 2013-14, scoring a team-high 29 goals and adding 49 points in 59 games with the Rochester Americans. He had one goal in 12 NHL appearances.

The 24-year-old provides the Sabres depth.

He has 15 goals and 26 points in 87 games with the Sabres since 2010-11. He had 10 goals and 20 points in 52 contests in 2011-12.

Adam, …

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J.T. Compher has played one college season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Early during Sabres development camp, J.T. Compher, proud University of Michigan student-athlete, noticed Hudson Fasching, his roommate from the University of Minnesota, brought a Big Ten shirt.

“I threw it on the ground,” a smiling Compher said. “I didn’t want to see that out of his suitcase again.”

Their rivalry started last season, when Compher’s Wolverines lost three of their four conference meetings to Fasching’s Golden Gophers, who captured the first-ever Big Ten hockey title.

Before that, the friends played together …

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Andre Benoit played his first full NHL season in 2013-14. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – The Sabres added more defense depth today, signing Andre Benoit to a one-year contract.

The deal’s worth $800,000, according to TSN’s Aaron Ward.

Benoit just completed his first full NHL season, compiling seven goals, 28 points and 26 penalty minutes in 79 games with the Colorado Avalanche. He averaged 21:17 of ice time.

The 30-year-old has 10 goals, 39 points and 40 penalty minutes 120 career NHL contests.

Sabres general manager Tim Murray knows Benoit well from their time together with the …

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Maxwell Willman played high school hockey in Cape Cod. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Before development camp started this week, Chadd Cassidy knew nothing about Maxwell Willman. Heck, very few had heard of the winger until the Sabres drafted him 121st overall last month.

Willman mostly went unnoticed playing at Barnstable High School in Hyannis, Mass., a popular tourist town in Cape Cod. He nearly left the game to attend Quinnipiac University as a regular student. But Willman transformed himself into a prospect last year playing at Williston Northampton, a prep school in …

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Rasmus Ristolainen (right) battles Brendan Lemieux during Tuesday's scrimmage. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – While other Sabres prospects have packed on weight this summer, defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has “lost a couple pounds.”

“Fat, not any muscles,” the 19-year-old Finn said following Tuesday’s development camp scrimmage inside the First Niagara Center.

The 6-foot-4, 207-pound Ristolainen showcased some muscle early in the contest, hitting top prospect Sam Reinhart.

“I don’t watch who I’m hitting,” Ristolainen said. “If I get a chance, I hit. That’s all.”

Later on, Ristolainen and agitating winger Brendan Lemieux jawed at the end of …

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