On with the summer

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Roy

Randy Cunneyworth talks Wednesday. ©2015, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
3

ROCHESTER – For three years, wherever Randy Cunneyworth went, he was asked the same question.

“I don’t think there was a person I came across that didn’t mention, ‘Are you going to get back into coaching or not?’” Cunneyworth recalled Wednesday after being introduced as the Rochester Americans’ new coach inside the Blue Cross War Memorial.

Cunneyworth enjoyed his player development job with the Buffalo Sabres – “I’m into whatever I’m doing,” he said – but coaching was “always prevalent on my …

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Randy Cunneyworth was Montreal's interim coach for 50 games in 2011-12. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – As the summer dragged on and the Rochester Americans’ coaching job remained open, one name kept popping up in rumors: Randy Cunneyworth, who had coached the Sabres’ AHL affiliate for eight seasons before moving up to the NHL.

Cunneyworth appeared to be the logical choice. The 54-year-old, a noted talent developer, was already a special assistant and a player development coach with the Amerks. He’s familiar with Buffalo’s prospects and the organization.

Sure enough, the Sabres general manager Tim Murray …

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Ville Leino's Sabres career could end today. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By 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 …

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Mikhail Grigorenko has played nine AHL games this season. ©2014, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

ROCHESTER – Finally, almost two years after the Buffalo Sabres drafted him 12th overall, center Mikhail Grigorenko has landed in the AHL.

Just weeks before his 20th birthday, the prospect too good for junior but too green for the NHL has settled in nicely with the Americans.

The Amerks closed the regular season 7-1-1 with Grigorenko, who recorded his four assists in his first three appearances.

But numbers aren’t important right now.

“Maybe the thing that I’m most happy about is his consistency,” Amerks …

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Ryan Miller has been facing fewer shots in St. Louis. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

TORONTO – Nights like Tuesday are acceptable now. Former Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller wasn’t dynamic in the St. Louis Blues’ 5-3 victory against the Maple Leafs. He looked average, even a bit shaky at times while making only 22 saves.

But Miller doesn’t have to be perfect these days. The 33-year-old’s tending goal for the NHL’s best team, not its worst.

Miller is 8-2-1 since the blockbuster Feb. 28 deal sent the franchise goalie and captain Steve Ott to the powerhouse …

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Frederick Roy plays with an edge. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

It’s no secret Buffalo Sabres prospect Frederick Roy possess his father’s legendary fire. The 22-year-old, despite being listed at an undersized 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, doesn’t back down from anyone.

That’s part of what made Patrick Roy arguably the greatest goalie ever. That might help Frederick Roy crack the NHL someday as a fourth-liner.

The Rochester Americans winger is emotional and fearless.

But sometimes, like his father, the younger Roy really loses his cool.

Take the Amerks’ 5-0 loss to Geneve-Servette on Thursday in …

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The Sabres traded Derek Roy in July 2012. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Derek Roy had some hard feeling against the Sabres after they traded him to Dallas in July 2012. The sometimes-slick center had just told former general manager Darcy Regier he wanted to stay in town.

The 30-year-old felt he had some unfinished business here.

“I thought we had a great team,” Roy said Tuesday prior to the St. Louis Blues’ 4-1 win against the Sabres, his first game back at the First Niagara Center. “Then a couple weeks later I …

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Derek Roy takes a break this morning. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Derek Roy wasn’t happy after the Sabres dished him to Dallas in July 2012. The sometimes-slick center had just told former general manager Darcy Regier he wanted to stay in town.

The 30-year-old, who signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the St. Louis Blues during free agency, felt he had some unfinished business here.

“I thought we had a great team,” Roy said this morning inside the First Niagara Center prior to his first game back here. “Then a …

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Mikhail Grigorenko has dominated in junior. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – In a not-so-surprising move, the Sabres sent 19-year-old center Mikhail Grigorenko back to the Quebec Remparts late Monday, according to RDS, a Canadian sports network.

Grigorenko has been scratched both games under interim coach Ted Nolan, who has strongly hinted he doesn’t think the Sabres should have four teenagers on the roster.

UPDATE: Grigorenko was just seen leaving the building this morning. Rookie defenseman Nikita Zadorov isn’t on the ice and has likely been sent back to junior.

According to the …

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Drew Stafford scored only six goals last season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – When the worst season of Drew Stafford’s career mercifully ended five months ago – he describes the six-goal, 18-point campaign as hitting “rock bottom” – the Sabres winger stopped dwelling on it.

“You got to get over it,” Stafford said Thursday inside the First Niagara Center after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s preseason finale in Carolina. “It was an absolute nightmare. It’s one of those things where you can’t change the past, what’s done is done.”

So Stafford enjoyed his …

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