Kukla's Korner Hockey
“Look at the Colorado Avalanche two years ago. They were a last-place team, and they were arguably one of the best teams in the league last year. So the past is the past. You look at our team now and there are 13 or 14 new faces. So we come in and think of last year as an anomaly. There’s nothing we can do now. We can worry about the future. I hear everybody talking about tanking for Connor McDavid. That’s not in my DNA, personally. I was with St. Louis for four years, and we were Stanley Cup contenders every year. So that’s how I’m going to approach it. It’s playoffs or bust.”
-Chris Stewart of the Buffalo Sabres. More on Stewart from Matt Larkin of The Hockey News.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Let’s examine job descriptions as they pertain to the Sabres and the season ahead. It marks the first full season since Tim Murray was hired as general manager and Ted Nolan returned as coach. Murray did not bring Nolan aboard but retained him to maintain stability after the Pat LaFontaine debacle.
It’s important to remember that they had no previous relationship and may not have a strong one now. Their allegiance is to the team, not to each other. They don’t need to be beer buddies, but they must understand what the other is trying to accomplish for their relationship to work.
In an ordinary season, the general manager and coach generally have the same ideals. The GM assembles the best team possible with the idea he has enough talent in place to contend for the playoffs. The coach does everything he can to maximize potential with the same goal in mind.
This is not an ordinary season.
Murray and Nolan aren’t about to hold a news conference saying as much, but they have different agendas. It doesn’t mean they have a contentious relationship. Murray will say that he wants to win ASAP because he can’t send any other message to his players, to the fans, to the league.
But his job calls for doing what’s best for the long-term success of his hockey club. This year, losing also means winning. The more Buffalo loses, the greater its chances of getting the first pick overall. It would allow the Sabres to draft Connor McDavid, the top prize of the 2015 draft.
continued including a look on how head coach Ted Nolan may handle this...
from Time Warner Cable News Buffalo,
Brian Gionta was back on home turf Monday night, signing autographs at Frontier Field one month after signing a three-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres.
After more than 17 years away from home, the Greece native is glad to be back playing hockey in his neck of the woods.
"We’re excited about it,” Gionta said. “It’s something we’ve been trying to do for quite some time. We love the area. We spend time here during the summers. My wife and I are both from here so to be back closer to home, closer to family and friends, it’s special to us.”
TORONTO (Aug. 18, 2014) – The NHL Combine, an annual event featuring the top 120 draft-eligible players from North America and Europe, will be held at First Niagara Center and HARBORCENTER in Buffalo, N.Y., in 2015 and 2016, the National Hockey League and Buffalo Sabres announced today.
The weeklong NHL Combine, gives all 30 Member Clubs a chance to evaluate hockey’s future stars three weeks before the NHL Draft. Prospects convene for interviews with NHL club management, scouts and athletic training staff as well as undergo medical and fitness examinations as part of a complete mental and physical assessment.
The 2015 NHL Combine is set to feature highly-touted North American prospects Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.) and Connor McDavid (Richmond Hill, Ont.) ahead of the 2015 NHL Draft hosted by the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., June 26-27.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (August 4, 2014) --- The Buffalo Sabres today announced that Bryan Trottier, Danny Flynn, Tom Coolen and Arturs Irbe have been added to head coach Ted Nolan’s coaching staff. Trottier, Flynn and Coolen will serve as assistants and Irbe will serve as goaltending coach.
“I’m very happy with the group of talented hockey minds we were able to assemble for our coaching staff,” Nolan said. “Each one of these coaches brings an extensive and different background from the hockey world and I’m confident they will help get our team to where it needs to go this season.”
from Bucky Gleason of Sabres Edge,
The Buffalo Sabres have reached an agreement to hire Hall of Fame forward Bryan Trottier as an assistant coach under Ted Nolan. Sources with close ties to the organization said the move could be announced sometime within the next week.
Nolan has been looking for help since firing assistant coaches he inherited when he took over for Ron Rolston last season. Teppo Numminen and Jim Corsi were not hired back while Joe Sacco and Jerry Forton were reassigned. It left Nolan with filling their jobs with his own people.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
The Buffalo Sabres' top returning goal scorer and most prominent restricted free agent is back in the fold for the long term.
Multiple sources confirmed to The Buffalo News early this morning that the team has re-signed center Tyler Ennis to a five-year deal worth $23 million. The deal was first noted Wednesday by NHL Network analyst and former NHL goalie Kevin Weekes. It has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Ennis' cap hit of $4.6 million would thus put him behind only defenseman Tyler Myers ($5.5 million) and recently re-signed winner Matt Moulson ($5 million) on the Buffalo roster.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
It seems crazy to think of this as a make-or-break season for Mikhail Grigorenko. After all, he’s just 20 years old and has played only 43 NHL games. But he’s coming up on the final year of his entry-level contract and decisions need to be made, both by Grigorenko and the Buffalo Sabres.
Large portions of Grigorenko’s first two seasons have been wasted. Can he build his game this year in the AHL or, perhaps in Buffalo? Or is this the last year before he looks at some money and maybe the KHL in Russia? The first step to a change this year was an attitude adjustment.
“From past experiences, I kind of realized it was probably no one’s fault but mine I didn’t stay in the NHL,” Grigorenko said prior to the team’s development camp scrimmage Tuesday night before an announced crowd of 8,725 in First Niagara Center. “If I want to play in the best league in the world, it’s just on me. No one’s going to just let me play because I was drafted first round. I just need to go out there and be the best.”
BUFFALO, N.Y. (July 12, 2014) --- The Buffalo Sabres today announced that the team has signed forward Sam Reinhart to a three-year, entry level contract.
The second overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Reinhart (6’1”, 190 lbs., 11/6/95) became the Sabres' highest draft pick since the team selected Pierre Turgeon first overall in 1987. He joins the Sabres organization after playing four years in the Western Hockey League (WHL) for the Kootenay Ice. In addition to serving as Kootenay’s captain in 2013-14, he was named the WHL 2013-14 Player of the Year and Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year.
“We are very excited to have Sam under contract,” said Sabres General Manager Tim Murray. “We look forward to watching him develop and become an important part of our organization in the future.”
I’m among thousands of friends letting him know that I’m thinking of him and wishing him a speedy recovery. Knowing him, he’ll approach cancer like a minor nuisance before returning to work. He may be back with a different voice but, mark his words, he will be back.
And we’ll be listening.
-Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News on Rick Jeanneret. Read more from Gleason...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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