Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
Henrik Tallinder was a typical rookie, happy to be in the NHL and possessing a mind filled with questions. The best place to go for answers was to the veterans, but the defenseman noticed they were occasionally preoccupied. Even a 23-year-old newcomer could tell why.
Mixed in with power-play meetings were bankruptcy updates. In addition to game plans, the 2002-03 Buffalo Sabres had to discuss which prospective owner might buy the team. Some guys had their minds split on faceoffs and court dates, wondering whether a judge would permit their bonuses to be paid.
It certainly wasn’t how Tallinder had pictured professional sports, but it’s how things were on the bankrupt Sabres team being run by the league.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
General Manager Darcy Regier isn’t going to win executive of the year for his work in the offseason, but at least he made an attempt to address obvious flaws when he signed winger Mike Grier and defenseman Steve Montador. They give the Sabres a stronger backbone without getting involved in senseless scraps found in the schoolyard.
To me, that’s toughness.
It’s a minor change that could make a significant difference for a team that had too many listless nights a year ago. Talent wasn’t the issue. The Sabres had enough to make the playoffs last season. Their lack of aggression, lack of competitiveness, lack of heart ultimately sabotaged their season.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Let’s hope money isn’t an issue. History suggests the Sabres are worried about starting the clock on his contract, which would get him get back to the bargaining table for dough a year sooner after his three-year rookie deal expires.
If their roster is overcrowded, make room even if it means waiving a veteran. Toni Lydman and Henrik Tallinder, headed toward unrestricted free agency and not part of the Sabres’ long-term future, are good candidates. The Sabres missed the playoffs with them, so they can certainly do the same without them.
No matter, the kid needs to stay. The Sabres would need to live with his mistakes knowing he’ll improve as he becomes more comfortable. His teammates believe he belongs. Ruff acknowledged that Myers is pushing them more than they’re pulling him.
The NHL network will air the Buffalo Sabres preseason game with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday but the game will blacked out in Western New York.
MSG has exclusive rights to Sabres games in the Western New York market and in order to protect the rights, Wednesday’s game will not air in the Buffalo television market, according to a spokesperson with the Sabres.
Two On Your Side has a call into MSG network for more information on the broadcast agreement and an explanation about why they are not allowing Wednesday’s game to air in Western New York even though they have no plans of carrying it.
from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,
...the No. 1 health concern in the Eastern Conference might be the Sabres’ need for center Tim Connolly to remain in the lineup this season.
The Sabres need him to play 80 or more games this season and he has been able to play only 38% of his team’s games over the past three seasons….
The frustration of Connolly’s injury history is that he is highly productive when he does play. Last season, he registered 18 goals and 29 assists for 47 points in 48 games. He had 40 points the season before.
“From where I am sitting and from where (coach) Lindy Ruff is sitting, he is a very important piece to our success,” said Buffalo general manager Darcy Regier. “What we saw when he was healthy is that when we have him and Derek Roy in the middle then we have two quality offensive lines. It’s not as easy to key on one of our lines.”
via the Buffalo Sabres Twitter,
The Buffalo Sabres have re-signed Drew Stafford.
BUFFALO, NY (September 13, 2009) – Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier announced today the team has signed forward Drew Stafford to a two-year deal.
Stafford (10/30/1985, 6-2, 220 lbs) appeared in 79 games for the Sabres last season collecting NHL career-highs in goals (20), assists (25) and points (45). During the 2008-09 campaign, Stafford had 12 multi-point games and picked up his second career hat trick on January 12 against the Edmonton Oilers.
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
What you see is what you get with the Sabres’ roster. Regier doesn’t anticipate any deals before camp starts Sept. 12. There’s nothing in the works. “No, not right now,” Regier said by phone Wednesday. “The conversations over the summer, we’ve talked about players with other organizations, but I think now the teams have taken, to a large extent, [the philosophy of], ‘We’ve got this group, and we’ll go into camp and assess things as we go through training camp.’
“I think it’ll remain fairly tight. I think you’ll see some movement between the start of training camp and the start of the season — either through waivers or the switching of players from
one organization to another in an attempt to either give the organization or the player a fresh start — but generally I think that the available dollars or the ability to find a trade partner, the difficulty of it will continue.”
Regier says money is the main issue holding back deals.
BUFFALO, NY (September 1, 2009) – Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier announced today that forward Adam Mair underwent successful arthroscopic hip surgery. He is expected to be out a minimum of 6 weeks.
from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,
What have the Sabres done since missing the playoffs for a second straight year? They brought in Steve Montador and Mike Grier in an inexpensive reply to critics who said they lacked the toughness and will to compete for a Stanley Cup.
Darcy Regier and Larry Quinn conceded that their team needed more “compete,” without identifying the offending players or moving anyone of consequence off the roster. Max Afinogenov is gone, but it will be essentially the same soft cast of characters that shows up in camp Sept. 12.
Regier has all the excuses. They’re up against their salary ceiling. Free agents were pricy and unattractive. It’s hard to find trading partners in this economic climate. Lately, Darcy sounds more like an accountant than a GM, content to educate us on the nuances of NHL finance.
But in the end, your actions, or lack of them, speak loudly. The Sabres believe in their players. They are building from within, with young guys — and let’s never forget how young they are.
via Greg Bauch of WGR550,
WGR 550 has learned that the Sabres have signed forward Mike Grier. The free agent played with Buffalo for the two seasons surrounding the NHL lockout in 2004.
BUFFALO, NY (August 10, 2009) – Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier announced today the Sabres have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with unrestricted free agent forward Mike Grier, who previously played in Buffalo from 2004-06.
Grier (1/5/1975, 6’1”, 225 lbs.) had 23 points (10+13) in 62 games for San Jose last season. He was third on the Sharks in hits with 147, and was tied for 12th in the NHL with four SH points. Grier missed 20 games with a knee injury last season, after averaging 77 games played during his first 11 NHL seasons. He has played at least 81 games in a season five times during his career.
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.
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