On with the summer

Archive:
Turgeon

A.J. Greer rides an exercise bike Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Like everyone in the Boston University program, NHL Draft prospect A.J. Greer would benefit greatly from another season with Jack Eichel, the phenom the Sabres will draft second overall June 26.

Eichel’s incredible talents ignited the Terriers, transforming them from an also-ran into a powerhouse that fell a goal short of the national title in April.

All season, as Eichel’s legend grew, youngsters like Greer – an 18-year-old winger NHL Central Scouting ranks as the No. 69 North American skater …

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Jack Eichel would likely be the No. 1 pick in any other year. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

TORONTO – With only a 20 percent chance of winning, Tim Murray expected the Sabres would lose the NHL Draft Lottery tonight. The general manager was right. Sorry, Buffalo, Connor McDavid is going to the Edmonton Oilers.

The Oilers, with only an 11.5 percent chance, snagged hockey’s most coveted prospect.

The Sabres, of course, received a pretty nice consolation prize, slick Boston University center Jack Eichel. The 18-year-old Boston native would likely be the No. 1 pick in any other draft.

Eichel, the …

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Florida selected Aleksander Barkov second overall last year. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

PHILADELPHIA – How good are the Buffalo Sabres’ odds of nabbing a franchise talent with the No. 2 pick tonight? Take a look at the list below.

It can be argued the last 15 picks have been strong hits. The list includes 50-goal scorers, perennial NHL All-Stars and even future Hall of Famers.

In their 44-year history, the Sabres have never owned the second pick. Twice they’ve had the No. 1 pick, 1970, when they chose Gilbert Perreault, and 1987, when they …

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Dominic Turgeon looks just his father, Pierre. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – As the child of an NHL star, Dominic Turgeon feels like he was “born into hockey.” He loved tagging along to the rink with his father, former Buffalo Sabres center Pierre Turgeon, the No. 1 overall pick in 1987.

“I was always around the guys,” Turgeon said last month at the NHL Scouting Combine inside the Toronto International Centre. “I always went out to skate with them, and to me, that always meant the world to me.”

So Turgeon …

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Rasmus Ristolainen played 19 games with the Sabres. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Development time used to be mandatory. Before Mikhail Grigorenko cracked the lineup last season, the Sabres hadn’t played an 18-year-old regularly since Pierre Turgeon in 1987-88. Most of their top prospects spent at least one full season in the minors.

But former general manager Darcy Regier, who was fired with coach Ron Rolston last week, dramatically switched philosophies earlier this year as the Sabres started rebuilding.

The struggling Sabres recently became the first team since 1995-96 to have four teenagers …

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Boston's Scott Thornton (22) battles John Scott on Wednesday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Finally, the hapless Sabres began showcasing some progress Wednesday. Slow starters all season, they played a sturdy first period against the mighty Boston Bruins.

Hey, take it where you can find it, right?

Even after falling behind 2-0 just 40 seconds into the second period, they battled back, slicing the Bruins’ lead to 3-2 after 18-year-rookie Nikita Zadorov scored his first NHL goal, a nifty one at that, late in the period.

Maybe the Sabres, strong finishers this season, could ride …

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Ron Rolston took over as coach on Feb. 20. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres convene for training camp physicals today inside the First Niagara Center, for better or worse, almost the same team that ended a disappointing, 11th-place season 137 days ago.

Other than a busy draft day and reacquiring 34-year-old defenseman Henrik Tallinder, the rebuilding club remained quiet throughout the summer.

Starting goalie Ryan Miller and leading scorer Thomas Vanek, two veteran stars rumored to be on the trading block, are back. Still, with expiring contracts, their days could be numbered.

Nonetheless, …

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Jochen Hecht often shoots the puck from almost anywhere. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – No angle is too awkward for Sabres forward Jochen Hecht. The veteran’s penchant for shooting the puck – or, perhaps more appropriately, sweeping it – from any spot deep in the offensive zone is legendary.

The 35-year-old scored a nifty goal in Friday’s 4-2 win over Ottawa, backhanding the puck quickly in the left circle with a defender draped on him. Other players surely would’ve passed that shot up.

Still, that wasn’t a true Jochen shot. Those take place behind …

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The NHL lockout gave Mikhail Grigorenko more time to develop. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
9

BUFFALO – If the Sabres had to decide Mikhail Grigorenko’s NHL fate back in September, then the team would’ve returned the 18-year-old rookie to junior, general manager Darcy Regier said.

But the lockout gave Grigorenko a unique opportunity to keep developing before the 48-game NHL season started.

The center dominated the QMJHL. His strong play with Team Russia during the recent world junior championship elevated his confidence to another level, Regier said.

The top prospect arrived at training camp two weeks ago NHL …

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Mikhail Grigorenko will play his sixth NHL game tonight. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – When the Sabres’ skate ended this morning, coach Lindy Ruff called his team together at the bench and told his players what general manager Darcy Regier had just said to the media minutes earlier: 18-year-old rookie Mikhail Grigorenko would be staying in the NHL.

Teammates then tapped their sticks in appreciation. A few even gave Grigorenko, who’ll play his sixth NHL game tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs, a face wash.

“It felt really good,” an excited Grigorenko said minutes …

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