Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bill Hoppe of the Niagra Gazette,
The Sabres, of course, also have their own free agents.
Regier said earlier this month it was “probably less likely than likely” forwards Brad Boyes and Jochen Hecht, the notable unrestricted veterans, would return.
Roland Thompson, Hecht’s agent, told the Gazette on Saturday that he’s only spoken to Regier once recently, at the NHL Combine, and he was told the Sabres hadn’t “had a chance to discuss” Hecht’s status.
The 35-year-old Hecht, the longest-tenured Sabre at 10 years, endured three concussions over a 10-month span recently, including two last season.
Hecht made his 22nd and final appearance of 2011-12 on Jan. 21. Thompson said he’s “now 100 percent healthy; he’s had clearance from the doctor.”
“I’m just disappointed that a player that’s given 10 years of his career … there wouldn’t be some kind of personal interaction to say thanks,” said Thompson, who’s “not sure if that’s the right way to exit a guy from the organization.”
more on Buffalo’s plans during the UFA period…
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
The Buffalo News, in an effort to determine players’ immediate impact on a new team, has analyzed the offensive output of all 251 skaters who have signed a multiyear contract with a new team since 2006-07. In addition, The News analyzed all 302 skaters who have switched teams within three weeks of the trade deadline since 2005-06, either via trade or waivers.
Of the 13 players in the study added by the Sabres, the production of nine of them – 69.2 percent – dropped compared to their prior team. Three (15.3 percent) improved their point-per-game numbers in Buffalo. Steve Montador maintained the pace he set with his prior club.
“First and foremost, it’s because they had a fit where they were at,” Ruff said. “They had a couple players that they were used to playing with. I think in most situations it takes a period of time [to fit in], and sometimes that period of time might be 20-30 games, sometimes it may be longer. We’ve had lots of those situations.”
The answer to “why” is wide-ranging, but three factors emerge often:
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
For the first five years, my goal as GM for a Day was fairly simple even though the process was far more complicated. The idea was upgrading the Sabres’ roster in an effort to push them closer to the Stanley Cup. It was mostly mathematics, the adding and substracting of players under the salary cap.
The biggest decision this year doesn’t involve players.
It’s about the coach.
If you’ve been paying attention, you know I’ve been a longtime supporter of Lindy Ruff and his assistants. People who accused me of being a shameless Ruff apologist were probably more accurate than I would rather admit. There’s always a line between us, but we’ve had a good relationship away from hockey. He’s also one of the best coaches in the NHL, in my book.
My opinion of him hasn’t changed.
What has changed is my view of whether Ruff should coach this team. The thought of publicly calling for him to be fired, knowing today was coming, made me uncomfortable for the past two months. But after much consideration and conversation, my stance hasn’t wavered. The day has come. Lindy, it’s time for a change.
continue for much more on how Gleason would ‘fix’ the Sabres…
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
Gary Roberts knows Cody Hodgson well. The retired 22-year veteran of the NHL has seen Hodgson try to train through a debilitating injury. Roberts has seen his young son take to Hodgson, and he watched the center respond by having daily lunches with the 4-year-old boy on Roberts’ patio. Roberts has seen the drive and desire Hodgson has to be a successful hockey player.
With all Roberts has seen, he couldn’t believe his ears.
While recapping the trade that made Hodgson a member of the Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver General Manager Mike Gillis essentially said last week he was glad to be rid of the center.
“I spent more time on Cody’s issues than every other player combined on our team the last three years,” Gillis said.
Roberts was flabbergasted.
“I listened to Mike Gillis the other day,” Roberts said by phone over the weekend, “and my impression was, ‘Are you kidding me?’
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
There are seasons when it’s understandable and even OK to miss the playoffs. Teams can use their also-ran status as a learning experience that will benefit the organization in the long run.
Not the Buffalo Sabres. Not this year.
There’s no way to rationalize a playoff absence. There’s nothing to be learned by a roster full of players in their prime. The coach and general manager with 15 seasons on their resumes didn’t need another year of experience.
As they clean out their lockers and conduct exit meetings today, the Sabres have to look at the 2011-12 season for what it really was. It was a wasted season. It was a lost season.
“For sure,” coach Lindy Ruff said. “I think you’ve got to look at it that way. You can’t look at it any other way.”
The Sabres and Caps now have 88 points( 8th place) and both teams have two game to play.
The Caps own the tiebreaker against the Sabres so Buffalo must have one more point to qualify for the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Panthers lost in OT and still need one point to make the playoffs. They are four ahead of Washington (Caps own the tiebreaker) and those two teams meet on in Washington on Thursday.
The Sabres play in Philadelphia on Thursday and in Boston on Saturday.
Meanwhile the Caps play in NYC against the Rangers on Saturday and Carolina travels to Florida on Saturday.
added 11:25pm, Watch below the goal crease scrum goal by the Sabres to tie the game late in the 3rd.
Early in the Leafs/Sabres game, Foligno tried to set the tone with this hit on Gunnarsson
Gunnarsson won’t return tonight.
from Bucky Gleason of hte Buffalo News,
The Sabres are going to need assistance from the hockey gods if they’re going to make the playoffs. Buffalo dropped two points behind Washington, plus the tiebreaker, with three games remaining. The Sabres play the Leafs on Tuesday and finish the season with road games in Philadelphia and Boston.
Buffalo’s plan Saturday called for picking up two points against an inferior team with an inexperienced goaltender, hopping on the team bus and declaring two points at the Peace Bridge.
Instead, their performance came to illustrate the season. Buffalo was sloppy, out of sorts, banged up, and, at times, listless. They came together and made a push just past the midpoint, provided hope late in the game and lost in the end.
If the Sabres miss the playoffs, that’s how this season will be remembered.
CSNWashington producer shows his pain as the Sabres give up a goal to the Pens last night and eventually lose.
I am sure many of has have been there or will be soon enough.
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