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Varone

Cole Schneider is a Williamsville native. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres sent three AHL players to the Ottawa Senators late Saturday night in exchange for four other minor leaguers, including Williamsville native Cole Schneider, the Binghamton Senators’ leading scorer.

Gone from the Rochester Americans are forwards Phil Varone and Jason Akeson and defenseman Jerome Leduc.

In addition to Schneider, who has 17 goals and 42 points in 54 AHL games this season, the Sabres also acquired forwards Eric O’Dell and Alex Guptill and defenseman Mike Sdao.

More on the new …

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Mark Pysyk has struggled this week. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – In the last three games, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma has used all eight defensemen on his roster, including Carlo Colaiacovo, who played Friday after sitting 15 straight games and 26 out of 27.

So, is Bylsma finally OK with having two spare defensemen?

“Am I warming to it?” Bylsma asked this afternoon. “No, I’m not warming to it. I don’t think I’ll ever warm to it.”

Why doesn’t he like having eight?

“Six is best, and to have eight, it won’t be …

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Marcus Foligno celebrates his second goal Friday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – On the Sabres bench, they were all wondering what Marcus Foligno would do with his second-period penalty shot Friday, coach Dan Bylsma said.

The hulking winger possesses a lethal shot, yet he rarely utilizes it. From watching him up close in practice for months, Bylsma has learned Foligno has a tendency to deke.

So as he roared in at 17:41, Bylsma must’ve been mildly surprised to see him unleash a wicked wrist shot high over Montreal Canadiens goalie Mike Condon’s …

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Jake McCabe had his suspension rescinded Friday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Before Dan Bylsma answered a question about the suspect hit that likely concussed Sabres winger Dan Catenacci late in Thursday’s ugly 5-1 road loss in Philadelphia, the coach paused for a few moments.

Clearly, Bylsma, who said he hadn’t watched a replay, wanted to choose his words carefully.

Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas, who has a reputation for questionable hits and has been suspended by the NHL once, won’t have a disciplinary hearing. Meanwhile, Catenacci missed Friday’s exciting 6-4 win against …

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Dan Cantenacci will miss tonight's game. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Before Dan Bylsma answered a question about the suspect hit that likely concussed Sabres winger Dan Catenacci late in Thursday’s ugly 5-1 road loss in Philadelphia, the coach paused for a few moments.

Clearly, Bylsma, who said he hadn’t watched a replay, wanted to choose his words carefully.

Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas, who has a reputation for questionable hits and has been suspended by the NHL once, won’t have a disciplinary hearing, according to the Cherry Hilly Courier Post’s Dave …

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Dan Catenacci has played three seasons in the AHL. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – In his first three AHL seasons, Sabres winger Dan Catenacci has developed what he believes is a strong relationship with his coaches. So the youngster was shocked when Randy Cunneyworth summoned him to his office Friday and the entire Rochester Americans’ staff began berating him.

What was the beef? Something Catenacci called a “nothing play” in the previous game.

“They started yelling at me,” he said Monday following practice inside the First Niagara Center.

An “angry” Cunneyworth eventually ordered Catenacci to …

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Tim Schaller has played 17 NHL games this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres sent forwards Cal O’Reilly, Tim Schaller and Phil Varone to the Rochester Americans today, the start of the NHL All-Star break.

The Amerks host the Syracuse Crunch tonight.

O’Reilly, 29, has one assist in five NHL games this season. Schaller, 25, has one goal and three points in 17 appearances. Varone, 25, has one goal in four games.

O’Reilly is eligible again to play in the AHL All-Star Game on Monday.

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Tim Schaller scores his first-period short-handed goal Saturday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Count the Sabres’ exciting 4-1 shellacking of the high-powered Washington Capitals on Saturday as perhaps the most impressive victory felt in these parts in years.

The 29th-ranked Sabres ended a five-game home losing streak while manhandling the league-leading Capitals, who roared into the First Niagara Center having won five straight contests and 14 of the last 16.

This one was never in doubt and had a little bit of everything. First-period goals from Phil Varone and Tim Schaller, two recent …

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Phil Varone scored his fifth NHL goal Saturday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Just 18 days ago, when the Rochester Americans made their yearly visit to the First Niagara Center, Phil Varone watched as a healthy scratch. At that point, almost halfway through his fifth professional season, the forward appeared to be on the outs with the Sabres organization.

Despite playing 28 NHL games last year and earning a contract worth $200,000 in the minors, Varone’s poor play and the Amerks’ glut of veterans helped him get benched five times recently.

But Varone, …

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Phil Varone will replace Zemgus Girgensons. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Just a couple of weeks ago, the chances of Phil Varone earning another recall to the Sabres appeared to be slim. The center, 25, was struggling with the Rochester Americans, getting scratched thanks to a glut of veterans and a terrible minus rating.

When the Amerks played a game on Dec. 30 at the First Niagara Center, Varone sat out.

But Varone, the Amerks’ leading goal scorer with 10, has recently been the AHL’s club’s best forward. With winger Zemgus …

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