BUFFALO – Jim Montgomery put it up for a vote, so after his Dubuque Fighting Saints won the United States Hockey League championship in 2011, he asked his returning players to pick a new captain.
In addition to three 20-year-olds, the coach had a 19-year-old who played prominent minutes back for another season of junior hockey.
Incredibly, Montgomery’s players passed on the veterans, instead picking a 17-year-old Latvian to captain them.
His name was Zemgus ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The wake-up call came at 4:30 a.m., 15 minutes before sunrise Monday. Right away, United States Navy Seals instructors told 39 Sabres prospects to make their beds.
“That was the first time I’ve done that in a while,” winger Marcus Foligno joked.
The youngsters then got in a “proper line format,” going from tallest to shortest. By 5 a.m., they had reached a local beach, where they spent the next two hours swimming ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – For about three months last season, David Leggio and Drew MacIntyre split time tending goal for the Rochester Americans, neither one impressing enough to earn regular duty.
Then, two starts the first weekend in January jumpstarted Leggio’s season. First, the Williamsville native stopped 42 shots during a win in Binghamton. He made 49 saves in a shootout loss in Hershey the next night, earning the Amerks’ No. 1 job.
Leggio played 35 more ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres added depth to their organization Thursday, signing center Kevin Porter, a former Hobey Baker winner with 163 games of NHL experience.
Following a 35-game season, Porter could be ticketed for AHL Rochester. The 26-year-old was a healthy scratch 43 times in 2011-12 with Colorado. He last appeared in the minors during 2009-10.
In 2010-11, his first full NHL season, Porter had 14 goals, 25 points, 27 penalty minutes and a minus-11 ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres added depth to their affiliate in Rochester on Tuesday, signing winger Evan Rankin and center Rick Schofield to AHL contracts.
Rankin joined Rochester from the ECHL early last season and immediately contributed, scoring 15 goals and 29 points in 35 games during his first regular AHL duty. The 26-year-old played four years at Notre Dame prior to spending parts of four seasons in low-level leagues.
Schofield, meanwhile, had eight goals, 17 ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The conversations, the first overtures into acquiring Steve Ott, the gritty Dallas forward the Sabres coveted, began last season. General manager Darcy Regier, who held struggling center Derek Roy as a key chip, had been keeping a dialogue with counterpart Joe Nieuwendyk for months.
At times, Regier said he didn’t want to pull the trigger. Other times, Nieuwendyk wasn’t willing.
“Either the timing wasn’t right or the people weren’t right,” Regier said Monday ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Growing up in nearby St. Catharines, Ont., John Scott loved crossing the border and watching the Sabres play at Memorial Auditorium and HSBC Arena.
His father’s boss had season tickets, so every couple of weeks he’d make the 30-minute trip to the Queen City.
“I grew up a pretty big Sabres fan,” the 6-foot-8, 270-pound tough guy told the Times Herald by phone Sunday night, shortly after inking a one-year, $600,000 contract with ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Now that forward Brad Boyes has moved on, inking a one-year, $1 million contract with the New York Islanders and leaving behind a Sabres team he scored 14 goals for over 93 games, what the heck happened to the former NHL All-Star here?
Boyes, who signed the deal shortly after free agency opened Sunday, once ranked among the league’s most feared scorers, tallying 76 goals over a two-year span, including 43 in 2007-08.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In this new era, nothing may be off limits for the Sabres during free agency. A year ago, owner Terry Pegula spent $67 million on two players in his first foray into the market, showcasing an aggressiveness never seen in these parts.
The Sabres wheeled and dealed, jumping the gun, acquiring Christian Ehrhoff’s rights and awarding the coveted defenseman a 10-year, $40 million contract. Then they gave winger Ville Leino a six-year, $27 ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – OK, so where does Ryan Miller, the 2009-10 Vezina Trophy winner and Team USA Olympic hero, rank among NHL goalies right now?
Consider the following: his goals-against average the last two seasons has ranked 22nd and 22nd; his save percentage has ranked 18th and 19th; last year, he failed to backstop his team to the postseason for the third time in five seasons.
Based on the recent ... Read the full article