AMHERST – For the first time in the NHL’s agonizing 109-day lockout, players “know there could be an end in sight,” Buffalo Sabres forward Matt Ellis said today, “whether we are playing or whether we’re not playing.”
Of course, nothing’s finalized yet, but positive signs are emerging a schedule of 48 games or so could begin later this month. The NHL and the Players’ Association have been tight-lipped as they’ve exchanged detailed proposals over the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – It was a year in the making. During a recent eight-game run, Rochester Americans forward Luke Adam morphed into a dynamic presence again, using his 6-foot-2, 206-pound frame to dominate down low.
Adam compiled five goals – he had only six in his first 44 games with the Amerks dating back to last season – and nine points, including scores in four straight. He was tough on pucks, won battles and got to ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In the coming weeks, if the NHL and the Players’ Association hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement, the Sabres will convene for an abbreviated training camp and begin molding a six-man defense corps from a stacked group that stretches more than 10 deep.
The Sabres boast eight NHL defensemen after acquiring Adam Pardy from Dallas this summer. Eleven defenders in the organization appeared in the big leagues last season, including T.J. Brennan, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – So, about those two wild 7-6 games between the Rochester Americans and the Lake Erie Monsters recently.
The Sabres’ AHL affiliate rallied from three three-goal deficits Dec. 13 in Cleveland. Then, incredibly, the Amerks rallied again late Wednesday in Rochester, forcing overtime before Marcus Foligno won it.
Don’t expect another goal bonanza tonight inside the First Niagara Center.
“They’re going to be pretty (ticked) off they blew a couple leads there,” said ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Jake McCabe has been named captain for Team USA’s entry in the 2013 world junior championship in Ufa, Russia.
The 19-year-old defenseman, the 44th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, has two goals, nine points and 18 penalty minutes in 16 games with the University of Wisconsin this season.
The Sabres had the sophomore rated as a first-round choice.... Read the full article
AMHERST – Forget that no drop-dead date to save the NHL season has been set 98 days into the lockout. Whether anyone acknowledges it, with Christmas and 2013 quickly approaching, the clock is beginning to tick loudly.
“A deal better be done in the next 10 days, or I guess you can say the league will just lock the doors again like they did (by canceling the season) in ’04 and continue to ruin the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Seven more Sabres contests were erased with the NHL’s sixth round of game cancellations today. With all games through Jan. 14 canceled, 42 Sabres tilts – 51.2 percent of their 82-game schedule – have been axed 96 days into the lockout.
The league has now canceled 625 games, a shocking 50.8 percent of the season.
Sadly, the next set of cancellations could be the biggest – the rest of the season.
While ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Some interesting news out of Quebec, where some media outlets have reported slick Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko will stay with the QMJHL’s Remparts for the entire season.
Sabres general manager Darcy Regier had said the Russian center, the 12th overall pick in June’s NHL Entry Draft, would be given “every opportunity” to make the big leagues.
Of course, back then another lockout seemed unimaginable. Training camp will be abbreviated if it ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Will more Sabres go overseas? Could some go back?
If the NHL lockout drags on, expect to see more players bolt for Europe. They desperately want to stay sharp. Some haven’t played games now in eight or nine months.
Of course, going overseas has its drawbacks. Most of the good leagues are filled up, leaving only second-tier (or lower) jobs available. Some leagues pay paltry salaries. Many teams are isolated. Some ... Read the full article
AMHERST – So, what about that vote the NHL Players’ Association is holding this week, the one that would give the union’s executive board the power to file a disclaimer of interest, which would dissolve the NHLPA and allow players to sue the NHL?
“I’m not going to comment on that,” defenseman Jordan Leopold, the Buffalo Sabres’ union representative, said Monday after skating inside the Northtown Center. “That’s all legal matters.”
Yup, legal matters. The ... Read the full article