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
BUFFALO – On Sunday, Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers receives his enormous $10 million signing bonus, the first payment in the seven-year, $38.5 million extension he signed last year.
The money’s another symbol the youngster, who could’ve made a bundle more later on if he had re-upped for a shorter deal, ranks as one of the NHL’s great young defenders.
Two years ago, in fact, Myers, fresh off a dynamic rookie season, was arguably the best.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret will call all 82 games next season, the club announced Wednesday.
The local legend, who signed a new multi-year contract earlier this month, had been working a reduced number of games for several years. He called 57 last year.
Jeanneret, the longest-tenured NHL broadcaster at 41 years, will be honored with the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Foster Hewitt Memorial Award this fall.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Five years after the Sabres matched the astonishing seven-year, $50 million offer sheet Edmonton awarded winger Thomas Vanek, the star expected to score 40 goals annually and flirt with 50 has averaged just 32 a season.
At times, Vanek still utterly dominates the game like few players can these days. See the beginning of 2008-09, the end of 2009-10 and the start of his past one season for proof.
For long stretches, however, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – If all goes well, then come October, Mikhail Grigorenko, the prized center selected 12th overall Friday at the NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh, will be the first 18-year-old playing regularly for the Sabres since Pierre Turgeon in 1987.
The Sabres, who introduced Grigorenko on Monday inside the First Niagara Center, plan to give the Russian every chance to make the big club instead of going back to the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts.
General ... Read the full article
PITTSBURGH – More on the Buffalo Sabres’ final five picks Saturday during the 2012 NHL Entry Draft:
Justin Kea, center, Sagina Spirit, Ontario Hockey League, third round, 73rd overall
Despite only three goals and 11 points in 65 games to go with his 76 penalty minutes, amateur scouting director Kevin Devine believes Kea has strong upside.
“If you look at his stats, they’re not very good,” he said. “Halfway through the season they fired ... Read the full article