Kukla's Korner Hockey
BUFFALO, N.Y. (November 19, 2013) --- Buffalo Sabres president of hockey operations Pat LaFontaine today announced the team has assigned three players to the Rochester Americans (AHL). Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and forward Johan Larsson will report to the Americans along with forward Mikhail Grigorenko, who has been assigned to Rochester on a conditioning assignment. Defenseman Nikita Zadorov has also been assigned to the London Knights (OHL).
LaFontaine also announced defenseman Mike Weber has been activated from IR.
via Alan Pergament of the Buffalo News,
As expected, the return of Ted Nolan behind the Buffalo Sabres bench also brought a return to strong TV ratings for the National Hockey League team.
The Sabres' home victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs Friday night had a 10.3 rating on MSG, which was about 65 percent higher than the 6.1 rating the team has been averaging this season.
The Sabres' road loss to Toronto Saturday night had a 7.9 rating on MSG, which was still more than 25 percent higher than the season average and even higher than that for Saturday games, which tend to have lower viewership because more people are out than during the week.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
Buffalo Sabres winger John Scott collided with Toronto defenseman Dion Phaneuf early in the third period Saturday and then got jumped from behind by Frazer McLaren as Cody McCormick and Toronto’s Colton Orr joined the fray. Yet Scott got 14 minutes in penalties, a double minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct.
The 6-foot-8 Buffalo enforcer was part confused, part disappointed and part accepting of it all.
“All of a sudden I’m not allowed to hit him anymore. He’s ‘Princess Phaneuf.’ It’s a joke,” Scott said of the Leafs’ captain in a postgame interview on the MSG telecast after the Sabres’ 4-2 loss in Air Canada Centre.
Scott had calmed down a few minutes later when reporters talked to him about the situation in the Sabres’ dressing room. There were no real punches thrown and no fighting majors handed out.
“I don’t think I did anything wrong. I went for a hit. Phaneuf bailed,” Scott said. “Then I get dragged down from behind and I got 14 minutes. It was more a precaution. They didn’t want anything to boil over. I understand.”
continued and watch the fracas below...
A musical montage set to 'Not Guilty
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
In 40 days and nights, Neil Smith might not have done what Noah was able to accomplish in that same time frame, but the Islanders general manager did construct the final pieces of the 2006-07 playoff team, no small feat in itself, before being told to step away by owner Charles Wang.
It was Smith — working at least partially in concert with Pat LaFontaine and Ted Nolan — who used his limited time and the Islanders’ limited resources to sign free agents Brendan Witt, Mike Sillinger, Tom Poti and Chris Simon, thus proving he did not require an unlimited budget to identify complementary pieces to a puzzle.
Now nearly 6 ¹/₂ years after Smith’s tenure ended under circumstances bizarre and contentious enough that LaFontaine left the Islanders’ family once and for all, there is an opportunity for the men to reunite in Buffalo.
continued plus some brief talk on Team USA, Igor Larionov, Rangers; contract talks with players and OT games...
A save and a goal on the same shift last night...
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
LaFontaine seems like a bright guy and he may have a bright future, but he’s hardly been put in a position to succeed here. It almost certainly would have been more beneficial to first give him a chance to get comfortable in a lower-profile role like Joe Sakic, Steve Yzerman and a slew of other former players did.
The timing of the move is also hard to understand and Pegula didn’t offer up much in the way of an explanation when he made it this week. There is little doubt that he was at least somewhat influenced by the fans who had taken to chanting "Fire Darcy!" while watching the Sabres lose all but one of their opening 10 games at First Niagara Center this season.
The locals seem much happier now. Nolan has returned promising a much more entertaining brand of hockey than what was played under Ron Rolston and it won’t be hard to deliver immediate results with Toronto visiting for a raucous blue-collar Friday night matchup.
"It’s going to be fun," Nolan said.
Yes, the glory days are here again – although it seems there’s a collective bout of amnesia involved for those painting the Sabres shakeup in that light. Even though Nolan won a Jack Adams Trophy during his first stint in Buffalo and LaFontaine piled up all kinds of points during six seasons here as a player, neither man was part of a Sabres squad that got past the second round of the playoffs.
via Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
The asking price for Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller (who's playing fantastic right now)? Two first-round and one second-round draft picks, according to Hockey Central's insiders.
Yikes. Granted, Miller is on top of his game and has the experience to take a team on a deep playoff run, but two firsts and a second for a player who can walk in July is too much to pay.
Also worth noting that contract negotiations between star defencemen Dion Phaneuf and P.K. Subban and their respective clubs is underway.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Building a winning environment at practice, in games, around the rink will fall to Nolan.
"Hopefully I can bring some credibility back into this organization," Nolan told reporters Wednesday in Buffalo. "I'm really looking forward to it."
Some immediately reacted with skepticism to the fact that Nolan was tabbed only as the interim coach. But after the disaster of replacing longtime coach Lindy Ruff (who actually took over from Nolan back in 1997) with Rolston and then keeping Rolston into this season, it's important to make sure Nolan is the right fit.
LaFontaine indicated whoever takes over as GM will have a say in the long-term coaching issue, which makes eminent sense. As for who will be the next GM, one has to imagine LaFontaine will reach out to Rick Dudley, another top hockey mind with long ties to the team, as well as highly regarded Claude Loiselle of the Maple Leafs and Tom Kurvers of the Lightning.
The bigger challenge of how to reset this franchise on the right track will fall to LaFontaine. He told reporters at a news conference Wednesday morning he will begin a search for a GM but it's LaFontaine, who arrives after a very brief stint with the league as a vice president of development and community affairs, who will ultimately set the tone and establish the identity of this team.
The conference is scheduled to begin at 10:30am ET,
Watch it below...
Both Regier and Rolston were informed last nigh of their dismissal.
update 11:22am, Press conference is over.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
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