Thomas Vanek began his point bonanza on opening day. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Early pace by Sabres’ Thomas Vanek could help shatter short-season records

The scoring benchmarks set during the only other lockout-shortened season – the 48-game 1994-95 campaign – are steep. The NHL hadn’t fully devolved into a clutch-and-grab league then.

Top scorers still racked up some pretty gaudy numbers.

Peter Bondra’s 34 goals, two more than Jaromir Jagr, topped the league. Jagr and Eric Lindros both scored 70 points. Ron Francis had 48 assists.

With an utterly dominant three-goal, five-point performance in the Buffalo Sabres’ dizzying ... Read the full article

Drew Stafford thinks a 48-game schedule would be a grind. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

1994-95 Sabres recall fun and intense 48-game season

BUFFALO – Buckle up, Sabres fans. You could be watching a lot of intense, high-stakes hockey very soon.

If the NHL and the Players’ Association reach a new collective bargaining agreement by next Friday’s deadline, the league will most likely begin a shortened 48-game schedule against conference opponents Jan. 19.

Sure, losing 34 contests from the normal 82-game slate may be disappointing. But the increased importance of each game could make for some wildly entertaining ... Read the full article

Rick Jeanneret’s induction into the Sabres’ Hall of Fame kicked off a string of honors, including today’s, the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Foster Hewitt Memorial Award. ©2012, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Rick Jeanneret still going strong as Hall honor arrives

BUFFALO – The scene plays out just about each time Rick Jeanneret walks around in public. Inevitably, fans stop the Sabres’ legendary announcer and tell him how much they enjoy the team’s broadcast.

Then they make a short plea to the play-by-play veteran, whose enthusiasm and passionate calls have made him a local icon.

“The other thing they say is, ‘Please don’t retire,’” Jeanneret, who will be honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame on ... Read the full article