Best wishes to RJ

Archive:
Stafford

Matt Moulson (left) shares a laugh with Tyler Ennis on Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Through all the losses last season, through all the stress and uncertainty, Matt Moulson kept envisioning the future here.

The high-scoring winger endured the toughest season of his career in 2013-14, skating for three teams during a dizzying six-month stretch. The Sabres lost 28 of the 44 games he played. They changed coaches and general managers. Days before they traded him to the Minnesota Wild, Pat LaFontaine resigned as president of hockey operations.

Still, Moulson saw a bright vision from …

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Sam Reinhart skates this morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Hey, it’s never too early for line and defense combinations, right? Clearly, coach Ted Nolan has formed trios and pairs he believes could be used in the regular season.

Here are some notable ones the Sabres are using today during the opening session of training camp (left to right):

– Marcus Foligno, Sam Reinhart and Chris Stewart.

– Matt Moulson, Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford.

– Cody Hodgson, Zemgus Girgensons and Brian Gionta.

Following his first camp practice, Reinhart, the No. 2 pick …

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Matt Moulson re-signed with the Sabres on July 1. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – It’s an odd dynamic. Some fans, even the most diehard ones, want the Sabres to lose this season so they can draft a franchise-changing prospect.

“I didn’t come here to lose,” Sabres winger Brian Gionta said Thursday inside the First Niagara Center. “The first step is to get into the playoffs.”

That kind of talk has been rare here for the last 18 months as the Sabres quickly morphed into the NHL’s worst team. But as training camp opened Thursday, …

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Matt Moulson likes the Sabres' future. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Their faces told a story. One-by-one, Sabres players took their turn at a podium this morning, the start of training camp. Each one smiled and spoke optimistically.

They all talked about the great things the Sabres, the NHL’s laughingstock last year, can do this season after revamping the lineup this summer

“I didn’t come here to lose,” Sabres winger Brian Gionta, a July 1 signing, said inside the First Niagara Center. “The first step is to get into the playoffs.”

Sabres …

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Drew Stafford has noticed the community coming together following the Bills sale. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – It wasn’t hard for Sabres winger Drew Stafford to see the excitement Terry and Kim Pegula’s purchase of the Buffalo Bills has generated around town.

“Everyone’s kind of got a little bit of a jump in their step,” Stafford said this morning, a day after Sabres owner Terry Pegula added the NFL franchise to his family’s growing sports empire.

The acquisition, Stafford said, is “bringing everyone together” around Buffalo.

“There’s a lot of positivity around,” the longest-tenured Sabre said. “It seems like …

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Sam Reinhart could be a franchise-level talent someday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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PHILADELPHIA – If the past tells us anything, some of these shiny NHL Entry Draft prospects, the ones expected to save their team’s sagging fortunes after getting picked early tonight, will be busts at the next level.

“We know that one or two of them aren’t going to have an impact in the National Hockey League,” Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray said last week. “It’s which one or two. We hope we know which one or two it is.”

The Sabres, …

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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 …

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Mike Weber talks to the media this morning. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Almost a year ago, well before the rebuilding Sabres started what would quickly become the most tumultuous season in franchise history, defenseman Mike Weber heard about former general manager Darcy Regier’s warning the team’s rabid fan base would endure some suffering.

“To be honest with you, you hear those things but you never think things are going to get as bad as they did,” Weber said this morning as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers and held their end-of-season …

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Henrik Tallinder will be a game-time decision tonight. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Slowly, the injury-plagued Sabres are starting to get some healthy bodies back.

Three injured players returned in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to Detroit. Now, they might have two more back for tonight’s road tilt against the New York Rangers.

Winger Drew Stafford (undisclosed) pronounced himself ready during Wednesday’s practice, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. Meanwhile, defenseman Henrik Tallinder (undisclosed) said he’s a game-time decision tonight.

“Hank, he gave me the old 95-percent sure look,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center.

Center Zenon …

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Drew Stafford will play Thursday in New York. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Slowly, the Sabres are starting to get some healthy bodies back.

Three injured players returned in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to Detroit. Now, they might have two more back Thursday in New York.

Winger Drew Stafford (undisclosed) pronounced himself ready during this morning’s practice, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. Meanwhile, defenseman Henrik Tallinder (undisclosed) said following practice he’s a game-time decision for the Rangers.

“Hank, he gave me the old 95-percent sure look,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center.

Center Zenon Konopka, …

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