Jimmy Vesey Watch

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Stafford

Tom Ward has an impressive high school resume. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres have hired Tom Ward, a top prep coach who groomed Sidney Crosby, Kyle Okposo and other future NHL players at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, as the final assistant on Dan Bylsma’s staff, the team announced this afternoon.

Ward, 52, spent the last 18 seasons as the head coach of the boys prep team at the Minnesota high school, winning nine USA Hockey National Championships and finishing as runner-up twice.

Shattuck is known for producing more NHL talent than any high …

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Kyle Okposo (left) receives his Sabres jersey from general manager Tim Murray on Thursday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Shortly after winger Kyle Okposo put on his new No. 21 Sabres jersey and spoke to the media Thursday morning, some of the team’s higher-ups reportedly boarded a charter flight from Prior Aviation bound for Boston.

What was the purpose of their trip? Likely a meeting with winger Jimmy Vesey, 23, the former Harvard University star whose negotiating rights the Sabres acquired June 20.

Vesey seems dead set on becoming an unrestricted free agent Aug. 15. Still, only the Sabres, …

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Kyle Okposo smiles this morning in his new No. 21 jersey. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo was beginning his third pro season when the New York Islanders, fresh off a disastrous campaign, welcomed No. 1 overall pick John Tavares.

Over the years, Okposo witnessed Tavares’ rapid development from a raw prospect into one of the NHL’s premier centers.

Now, seven years later, Okposo has another rare opportunity to watch – and even help – Sabres center Jack Eichel, the No. 2 pick in 2015, become one of the league’s premier young talents.

“I …

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Former Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers (57) skates past Paul Byron last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Drew Stafford called it a “healthy separation.” The Winnipeg Jets winger said he has no ill will toward anyone here. He enjoyed his nine-year Sabres career.

As a struggling veteran months away from free agency last year, Stafford knew the rebuilding Sabres would trade him. Sure enough, Stafford, 30, was dealt with defenseman Tyler Myers on Feb. 11, 2015 in the blockbuster that brought defenseman Zach Bogosian and winger Evander Kane to the Sabres.

“I was kind of expecting something …

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Drew Stafford spent nine seasons with the Sabres. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Drew Stafford called it a “healthy separation.” The Winnipeg Jets winger said he has no ill will toward anyone here. He enjoyed his nine-year Sabres career.

As a struggling veteran months away from free agency last year, Stafford knew the rebuilding Sabres would trade him. Sure enough, Stafford, 30, was dealt Feb. 11, 2015 in the blockbuster that brought defenseman Zach Bogosian and winger Evander Kane to the Sabres.

“I was kind of expecting something was going to happen,” Stafford …

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Tyler Myers is out for the season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Tyler Myers’ first game back here will have to wait until another season. The Winnipeg Jets defenseman underwent knee surgery Thursday and will miss the rest of the year.

The Jets make their yearly visit to the First Niagara Center on Saturday afternoon.

After Myers’ knee is stabilized and the season ends, he will undergo major hip surgery that requires 16 to 20 weeks of recovery, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.

“He needs his knee to rehab the hip,” Jets …

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The Sabres acquired Jason Kasdorf in February. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Some of hockey’s biggest young names switched teams in the Sabres’ blockbuster seven-player trade with the Winnipeg Jets in February.

The Sabres paid a hefty price for 30-goal winger Evander Kane and workhorse defenseman Zach Bogosian, giving up slick defenseman Tyler Myers, forward prospects Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux, veteran winger Drew Stafford and a 2015 first-round pick.

Lost in the hubbub was a college goalie the Jets quietly sent the Sabres in the Feb. 11 deal.

Remember this name: Jason …

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The Sabres introduced Evander Kane on Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – For almost 13 minutes, Evander Kane smoothly answered questions about his turbulent past with the Winnipeg Jets and the future that could be special for the 23-year-old winger following his recent acquisition by the Sabres.

Wearing jeans, a Sabres hoody with his No. 9 and a sling around his surgically repaired left shoulder, an upbeat Kane sounded relieved to be out of Winnipeg, a city he calls a “fishbowl.”

“Let’s just put it this way, I think I’m definitely excited …

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The Sabres made the playoffs in both of Steve Montador's seasons. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – The memories brought a warm smile to Mike Weber’s face. As a youngster trying to crack the NHL four years ago, Steve Montador mentored Weber. The Sabres defensemen often spent plane rides and meals together talking about hockey and life.

Montador, who played with the Sabres from 2009-11, was found dead Sunday morning in his Mississauga, Ontario, home, according to multiple reports. He was 35. Police do not suspect foul play.

“Monty will probably go down as one of the …

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Johan Larsson's comments last month upset Sabres coach Ted Nolan. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – As the Sabres trickled out on the ice Sunday morning, coach Ted Nolan and winger Johan Larsson skated around and talked about the prospect’s latest recall.

Upon getting demoted to Rochester in early January, Larsson voiced his displeasure with having to skate on the fourth line in the NHL, a complaint that irked Nolan.

“Yeah, I was upset,” Nolan said. “Players play. The tail can’t wag the dog.”

So Nolan gave Larsson a direct message during their brief chat prior to …

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