Best wishes to RJ

Archive:
Weber

Joel Armia hasn't played in a regular-season NHL game yet. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
3

Since most NHL Entry Drafts don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at the Buffalo Sabres’ first-round picks from 2006-11 and some notable hits and misses. Fourteen of Buffalo’s 43 draft choices over that time have made the NHL.

The Sabres have eight picks this weekend in Philadelphia, including the No. 2 selection.

2011

First-round pick: center Joel Armia, 16th overall

Armia endured a rough season in 2013-14, his first in North America. The 21-year-old broke his hand during an …

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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
0

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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Marcus Foligno skates Monday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – There is some good news for the reeling, injury-ravaged Sabres. They could have three players back tonight against the Detroit Red Wings. Of course, 13 – yes, a stunning 13 – are hurt right now.

Incredibly, the NHL’s worst team lost three more players in the third period of Sunday’s disastrous 5-2 loss in Philadelphia.

– Goalie Nathan Lieuwen, who has a disturbing history of concussions, suffered another one, coach Ted Nolan said. Philadelphia’s Jay Rosehill possibly hit the rookie …

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Goalie Nathan Lieuwen has a history of concussions. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – There is some good news. The Sabres could have three injured players back Tuesday against Detroit. Of course, 13 players – yes, a stunning 13 – are hurt right now.

Incredibly, the Sabres suffered three more injuries in the third period of Sunday’s 5-2 loss in Philadelphia.

– Goalie Nathan Lieuwen, who has a disturbing history of concussions, suffered another one, coach Ted Nolan said. Philadelphia’s Jay Rosehill possibly hit the rookie high after defenseman Mike Weber pushed him.

– Defenseman …

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Jake McCabe signed a three-year contract Wednesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

Buffalo Sabres rookie Jake McCabe knows he’ll feel more nerves tonight during his NHL debut tonight in St. Louis against the Blues.

“Even out in the pregame skate, I’m sure my heart rate was getting up there, for sure,” the defenseman told reporters this afternoon in St. Louis. “This is a whole new level.”

The 20-year-old, the 44th overall pick in 2012, played three NCAA seasons before signing a three-year, entry level contract Wednesday.

Giving away his senior season, McCabe said, “was a …

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Matt Hackett made 29 saves Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Nothing has changed, Matt Hackett said. Forget that he was enduring a terrible season in Rochester before injuries forced his recall. Forget that general manager Tim Murray recently said the Sabres’ goalie of the future likely wasn’t in the organization.

Hackett, a key piece of April’s Jason Pominville trade with the Wild, hasn’t lost much confidence. The 24-year-old still believes he can become the team’s No. 1 netminder, a coveted spot that’s up for grabs following Ryan Miller’s recent …

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Nathan Lieuwen watches the play Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Fresh off two weekend appearances with Rochester, goalie Nathan Lieuwen learned early Sunday he had earned his first recall to the Sabres.

Newcomer Michal Neuvirth was injured, so the 22-year-old would be backing up Jhonas Enroth inside the First Niagara Center.

“I was shocked. I was nervous. Everything,” a smiling Lieuwen said after stopping all 10 shots he faced in his NHL debut, a 2-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. “I couldn’t stop smiling all morning.”

Lieuwen wasn’t expecting to play. …

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Former Sabres captain Steve Ott stands in front of goalie Jaroslav Halak, who Buffalo acquired Friday, earlier this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – It was a normal Sabres game night. Players were preparing for their warm-up Friday. Ted Nolan had held pregame his meeting and talked about his plan for the San Jose Sharks.

Then the interim coach saw Joe Battista, the team’s vice president of hockey-related business, coming around the corner.

Battista informed Nolan that goalie Ryan Miller, the scheduled starter, shouldn’t go out for the warm-up.

“I think we got a deal for him,” Battista told Nolan.

Nolan talked to Miller. Then Battista …

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Mike Weber is an NHL-worst minus-32 this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Mike Weber knows the number looks terrible. In 43 games this season, the gritty Sabres defenseman has accumulated a stunning minus-32, the NHL’s 824th and worst rating.

In what was supposed to be his breakout campaign, Weber has become one of the fans’ whipping boys during the worst season in franchise history.

But Weber believes his big minus rating is a bit misleading.

As a defensive defender, the 26-year-old’s never going to compile many points for a plus rating. He’s been …

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