Tyler Ennis became a top scorer after switching to center last season. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Whenever lockout ends, Sabres’ Ennis ready for explosive season

BUFFALO – The eight goals and 19 points Tyler Ennis generated over a rollicking 12-game stretch late last season could just be a harbinger, he believes. The center’s March exploits might’ve signaled the first signs of his impending superstardom.

“I think I’m ready to explode,” Ennis said Sunday, a day after signing a two-year, $5.625 million contract hours before the NHL lockout started.

Of course, Ennis and the Sabres can’t even play right now.

Instead ... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres sign Ennis hours before lockout begins

BUFFALO – The Sabres finally signed restricted free agent Tyler Ennis on Saturday, hours before the NHL locked out the players at midnight.

When the slick center will begin earning his two-year, $5.625 million contract is unclear. With no negotiations ongoing, the work stoppage could be a long one.

As 12 a.m. loomed, teams went on last-minute spending sprees, awarding more than $61 million in new contracts.

Ennis’ short deal – something Sabres general manager ... Read the full article

Robyn Regehr left a recent meeting with NHL executives disappointed. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres saw ominous lockout signs long ago

AMHERST – Ryan Miller first noticed the ominous signs of another NHL lockout last year when the NBA and NFL negotiated new labor deals favorable to ownership. Right away, the Buffalo Sabres goalie knew “hockey would take a crack at” getting money back from the players.

For Robyn Regehr, the cold reality of a work stoppage hit him last week in New York during a meeting at the league offices with Players’ Association executive director ... Read the full article

Cody Hodgson will return to the Sabres after the lockout ends. ©2012, Janet Schultz, Olean Times Herald

Sabres loan 20 players to Rochester

BUFFALO – With an NHL lockout likely hitting at midnight tonight, the Sabres loaned 20 AHL-eligible players, including forwards Marcus Foligno and Cody Hodgson, to the Rochester Americans on Friday.

Also assigned were: forwards Luke Adam, Riley Boychuk, Brian Flynn, Zemgus Girgensons, Jacob Lagace, Jonathan Parker, Kevin Sundher, Shawn Szydlowski, Corey Tropp, Phil Varone; defensemen Alex Biega, Nick Crawford, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, Matt MacKenzie, Brayden McNabb, Mark Pysyk; goalies Connor Knapp and Nathan Lieuwen. The Sabres ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville can't believe another NHL lockout is imminent. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres feel lockout coming, begin making provisions

AMHERST – It’s looming. Barring a major negotiating breakthrough, the NHL plans to lock out its players at midnight Saturday, a sad and stunning end to a collective bargaining agreement under which the league generated record revenues.

Beginning today in Manhattan, at least 10 Buffalo Sabres will be among the 250 or so players attending the NHL Players’ Association meetings. The two sides also reportedly plan to meet again today, a bit of good news.... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres to be broadcast nationally 15 times

BUFFALO – The Sabres will have 15 games broadcast nationally during the 2012-13 season.

The team has two games scheduled for NBC and 13 slated for NBC Sports Network, according to the NHL’s national television schedule, released Thursday. MSG will broadcast 70 Sabres games.

Of course, if the NHL locks out its players when the collective bargaining agreement expires Sept. 15, the schedule could change.... Read the full article

©2012

Rochester releases 2012-13 schedule

BUFFALO – Now you can start planning those trips to Rochester in the event of an NHL lockout, Sabres fans.

The Rochester Americans begin their 31st season as the Sabres’ AHL affiliate on Oct. 12 at the Blue Cross War Memorial against the Syracuse Crunch, a day before their parent club is scheduled to open its campaign at the First Niagara Center versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.

But with collective bargaining agreement talks stalling, who ... Read the full article

©2012

Detroit cancels annual prospects tournament

BUFFALO – The growing potential for an NHL lockout has forced the Detroit Red Wings to cancel their annual NHL Prospect Tournament in Traverse City, Mich., which the Sabres won last season.

The Sabres were one of eight teams slated to participate again in September.

The collective bargaining agreement expires Sept. 15. Little progress has been made during recent talks between the NHL and NHLPA.... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres re-sign defenseman Biega

BUFFALO – The Sabres have re-signed defenseman Alex Biega to a one-year, two-way contract.

The 24-year-old had five goals, 23 points, 47 penalty minutes and a plus-10 rating in 65 games with Rochester last season. The former Harvard University captain has six goals, 41 points, 99 penalty minutes and a plus-28 rating in 126 AHL appearances over two seasons.

The Sabres selected Biega 147th overall in 2006.... Read the full article

Patrick Kaleta has never shied away from contact. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Kaleta’s growth, maturity earns long deal from Sabres

BUFFALO – Three years for a rugged, injury-prone winger who’s averaged only 55 games during his four full NHL seasons. Why did the Sabres give Patrick Kaleta, a 26-year-old short on durability, such a long contract?

The team sees growth and maturity seeping into Kaleta’s game. He’s started reigning in the ultra-aggressive, often reckless style he showcased for years.

The Angola native played a career-high 63 contests last season, eight more than his previous best. ... Read the full article