Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
Murray talked with O’Reilly’s agent after the trade.
“I walked over and introduced myself around the fifth pick or sixth pick,” Murray said in BB&T Center. “They got him on the phone and I spoke to him. I told them that I hoped we could start talking contract extension whenever we’re able to, and that’s July 1.”
The Denver Post reported Friday night that O’Reilly asked the Avs for an eight-year, $64 million extension.
“You know going in when you make a trade like this that negotiations are going to be starting a high number,” Murray said. “We’re fully prepared for that.”
The 6-foot, 210-pounder joins a center corps that includes Jack Eichel, Zemgus Girgensons and Sam Reinhart. O’Reilly won 53.4 percent of his faceoffs last season and will give a boost to the Sabres, who finished last in the category at 44.9 percent.
“His hockey sense is off the charts,” Murray said. “I think he makes everybody around him better. I love his work ethic on and off the ice. I love his compete level. There’s nothing I don’t like about him.
from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,
added 7:29pm, Colorado release is below...
The Senators got what they wanted out of the deal - a first-round pick and some financial relief - and that's enough to get the nod over Buffalo. If Lehner turns out to be great, or even good, then the Sabres won't have any regrets, but paying a first-round pick and taking on salary seems like more than it would cost to acquire some of the other goaltenders that are known to be available this summer. Consider this the price of Sabres GM Tim Murray getting his guy.
-Scott Cullen of TSN on today's Buffalo/Ottawa trade. Read more from Cullen on this topic.
added 10:45am, Buffalo release is below...
from Tal Pinchevsky at the Wall Street Journal,
When the NHL’s 30 teams convene for the draft in Sunrise, Fla., on Friday, they’ll begin the two-day process of welcoming 211 new players to their ranks.
But the 2015 NHL Entry Draft is really about two of these players.
For close to a year now, the hockey world has anticipated the draft-day coronations of Connor McDavid of the Ontario Hockey League’s Erie Otters and Boston University’s Jack Eichel—the pair of can’t-miss prospects being hailed as the league’s next two superstars.
And for better or for worse, they will be almost certainly heading to two of the NHL’s smallest and most remote outposts: Edmonton and Buffalo. The hockey-mad fans of the Oilers and Sabres are already hailing McDavid and Eichel as their respective saviors.
The Oilers haven’t made the playoffs since 2006, the NHL’s longest current postseason drought. Although this will be the fourth time the Oilers have had the No. 1 pick in six years, this one feels different. There is an overwhelming sense in Edmonton that McDavid is destined to resurrect a franchise that won the Stanley Cup five times between 1984 and 1990.
“They’re already setting a spot beside the [Wayne] Gretzky statue, I think,” said Jim Matheson, the Edmonton Journal columnist who has covered the Oilers since they joined the World Hockey Association in 1972.
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
Jack Eichel can only hope to be as good as Pat Falloon.
Well, for one season anyway.
During the past 25 years, no No. 2 pick has jumped from the draft stage to the NHL like Falloon. The right winger, coming off consecutive 60-goal seasons in junior hockey, immediately joined San Jose for the 1991-92 season. He was a sensation, leading the expansion team with 25 goals, 34 assists and 59 points.
Falloon’s career quickly fizzled, but he’s proof that teenagers can excel right away. It’s not easy. More than half have failed to get the chance.
Of the last 25 players drafted second overall, 12 played in the NHL immediately. The other 13 stayed in juniors, college or Europe.
Eichel will be the next No. 2 selection when the Buffalo Sabres draft him Friday in Florida’s BB&T Center. The expectations will be tremendous. Fans have been dreaming of Eichel for more than a year, and they’ll want the 18-year-old to torment opponents like he did during a Hobey Baker-winning season at Boston University.
The expectations should probably be lowered. The first-year numbers typically aren’t impressive.
from Bill Hoppe at Buffalo Hockey Beat,
General manager Tim Murray knows 21-year-old center Mikhail Grigorenkois frustrated the Sabres are offering a two-way contract. The restricted free agent dislikes the deal so much he’s reportedly fielding offers from the KHL, a league in his native Russia.
“I hear rumors,” Murray said Thursday during a news conference inside the First Niagara Center to discuss next week’s NHL Draft.
Clearly, the Sabres and Grigorenko’s camp have vastly different opinions of the youngster, the No. 12 pick in 2012.
“We feel he needs time in the minors, whether that’s 10 games, a half a year, whatever it is,” Murray said. “That will depend on what kind of summer he has.”
Grigorenko, who has six goals and 14 points in 68 NHL games, wants a one-way deal.
“They tell me he’s ready to play,” Murray said. “I don’t know why they’d be afraid of a two-way contract. I’m baffled, actually.”
from Paul Hamilton of WGR 550,
We had a chance to speak with Sabres GM Tim Murray and new coach Dan Bylsma on Thursday.
Here are some highlights from that.
Cody Hodgson is in Sweden trying to become a better skater. Murray said his agent Claude Lemieux has been sending video updates showing his progress.
Murray said he told Hodgson that he needed to improve his skating and needs to be in better condition.
Murray said a buyout is still a decision.
continue for more on the Sabres...
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
Jack Eichel has eaten the wings. He’s met the fans. He’s had tours of the Sabres’ facilities.
The big question is: Has his week in Buffalo convinced him to play in the NHL next season rather than go back to Boston University?
“I still have a lot of people to talk to,” Eichel said Friday. “It’s definitely a tough decision to make. I haven’t been drafted yet, so hopefully after the draft.”
The Sabres will select him second overall June 26 in Florida, and they’ll eagerly await the answer.
“If it ends up that my heart tells me that I want to move on and try to play in the NHL, then that’s what I’m going to do,” he said in HarborCenter. “If my heart says I want to go back to BU, then that’s what I’m going to do.
“There’s pros and cons of both situations. That’s going to make my decision pretty tough. I don’t want to be playing professionally if I want to be back in college with BU. I don’t want be at BU if I prefer to be playing professionally.”
via Dave Hodge of TSN,
Obviously, Dan Bylsma was Buffalo's first choice to succeed Ted Nolan as coach of the Sabres….er, well, second choice…..so the matter of draft pick compensation owed to Pittsburgh wasn't about to get in the way.
But what if Bylsma and another candidate had similar credentials, Bylsma was favoured narrowly and the other prospective coach came with no strings attached? And what if the Sabres decided to take a pass on Bylsma as a result? After all, a third-round draft pick is something of value in every other sense. Teams don't give them away with a shrug of the shoulders.
If the issue of compensation meant that Bylsma did not get the Buffalo job, he'd be justifiably upset. The Penguins would still be paying him, and the Sabres, while having to live with their decision, would wonder why they couldn't sign the best coach available free of charge. In that case, I'm guessing Bylsma and every other coach would push for a rule change, and so would the Sabres. That ought to happen, anyway. Thumbs down to draft pick compensation for fired coaches.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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