Best wishes to RJ

Archive:
Varone

Ted Nolan coached the first game in the First Niagara Center almost 18 years ago. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Whether you’ve been in the NHL for 50 years or this is your first season, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said, “opening night’s always exciting.”

“Butterflies floating around like crazy,” Nolan said Wednesday after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s season opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets. “If it doesn’t happen, something’s going to be wrong.”

Tonight will be extra special for Nolan, who’s beginning his first full season as Sabres coach since 1996-97. He hasn’t coached an NHL team on opening …

Read More --->
Luke Adam has dominated in the AHL. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – The Sabres sent 11 players to the Rochester Americans today, including forward Luke Adam, who must clear waivers.

The Sabres also sent forwards William Carrier, Dan Catenacci, Colin Jacobs, Justin Kea, Jordan Samuels-Thomas, Kevin Sundher and Phil Varone and defensemen Brady Austin, Jerome Leduc and Chad Ruhwedel to the AHL.

In addition, the Sabres assigned forwards Justin Bailey and Brendan Lemieux back to their junior clubs.

Adam, who has 11 goals and 26 points in 87 NHL games, dominated with the …

Read More --->
Phil Varone played nine NHL games last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Phil Varone’s nine-game run last season grabbed coach Ted Nolan’s attention. The 5-foot-10 forward played well during his first NHL recall, compiling one goal and two points while taking a regular shift.

But Varone, who will play in today’s preseason opener in Washington, couldn’t convert a slew of scoring opportunities he generated.

“The difference between him and (Martin) St. Louis and players of that caliber who’s a smaller structure, when they have an opportunity to put it, they put it …

Read More --->
Matt Moulson knows he could be traded. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Trade rumors have dogged Matt Moulson since the Sabres acquired the winger almost four months ago. But with rosters frozen for 16 days during the NHL’s Olympic break, Moulson briefly got away from the noise, rehabbed his rib injury and relaxed a bit.

“It was good to just go home and train and get healthy again and spend some family time,” Moulson said Monday inside the First Niagara Center.

Moulson and the Sabres better be recharged. They’re diving headfirst back …

Read More --->
Linus Omark (17) fends off Florida's Aleksander Barkov on Jan. 21. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – In a move that might signal the end of his NHL career, the Sabres today waived winger Linus Omark, who had zero goals and two assists in 13 games.

They also sent defenseman Chad Ruhwedel and forward Phil Varone to Rochester.

The 27-year-old Omark, acquired from Edmonton for a conditional sixth-round draft pick Dec. 19, never impressed Ted Nolan much. The interim coach scratched the speedy Swede eight times, including Thursday’s 3-2 loss in Ottawa.

In a last-ditch effort to ignite …

Read More --->
Linus Omark played 66 games with Edmonton. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – So far, 11 games into his Sabres career, Linus Omark has been a colossal disappointment, compiling zero goals, two assists and seven healthy scratches for the NHL’s worst team.

But the slick winger will return tonight against the Edmonton Oilers, his old team, after sitting the last three games. The Swede might even skate on the top line.

Clearly, interim Sabres coach Ted Nolan hopes a visit from the Oilers ignites Omark, who played 66 games over parts of three …

Read More --->
Linus Omark has sat the last three games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Linus Omark smiled today when a reporter asked him if he was looking forward to facing Edmonton, his old team.

“I would be lying if I said no,” the winger said inside the First Niagara Center after the Sabres prepared for the Oilers, Monday’s opponent. “Of course, it’s going to be a fun game. I know a lot of guys on the team.”

Omark, a healthy scratch the last three games, will return against the Oilers, who he played 66 …

Read More --->
Alex Ovechkin celebrates his second goal Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Sooner or later, Alex Ovechkin had to break loose, right? Over two recent games, the Washington Capitals superstar pumped a whopping 18 shots on goal against the Sabres.

Thanks to Ryan Miller’s elite goaltending, the Sabres held the NHL’s most-lethal threat scoreless while winning two 2-1 shootouts.

Facing backup goalie Jhonas Enroth, Ovechkin caught fire early Tuesday, scoring at 3:39 and 4:42 inside the First Niagara Center.

The Sabres still hadn’t recorded a shot.

But the Sabres roared back against the potent …

Read More --->
Phil Varone (84) spent some of his NHL debut beside Carolina goalie Anton Khudobin. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – The voice on the other end of the phone was excited. For a moment, Tony Varone thought his son, Sabres center Phil Varone, had been in a car accident.

“I said, ‘Is everything OK?’” the elder Varone recalled a day later inside the First Niagara Center.

Phil Varone, who nearly shunned the Sabres to play hockey for the University of New Brunswick in 2011, was calling with good news, though.

“He said, ‘Yes, yes, I just got called up!’” Tony Varone …

Read More --->
Phil Varone (84) smiles with Matt Ellis this morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Phil Varone had no clue why Chadd Cassidy pulled him off the ice Wednesday. The center thought perhaps he had been traded or the Rochester coach just wanted to discuss this weekend’s games.

Nope. Cassidy informed the 23-year-old the Sabres had recalled him.

“When he told me the news, it brought some tears to my eyes,” Varone said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “I called my parents right away. It’s something I’ll never forget.”

Varone will make his NHL …

Read More --->