Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier didn’t tinker much with his lineup over the summer, believing that if the team can stay relatively healthy, it’ll be a serious contender for the Northeast Division crown and more.
The local media has criticized Regier’s approach, but the players deeply appreciate his faith in them, said rugged forward Adam Mair.
“I love our team and I love our players,” Mair said. “When you look at the young players we’ve signed to long-term contracts, you can see that Darcy and upper management believe in those players. It would go against the plan to deviate and start bringing in new players because we missed the playoffs by two points.
According to reports in Finland, veteran Buffalo Sabres defenseman Teppo Numminen is retiring after 20 NHL seasons.
Here is the story from the Suomen Kuvalehti in Finland (not translated), but a friend of KK did give me some hightlights of the story…
Teppo doesn’t think he can play another 82 game season, he felt by the end of last season that he’d lost a step
Jari Kurri, GM for Team Finland has asked him to scout for him in regards to the Finnish Olympians.
Teppo said playing the last game of the regular season in 2008 was the highlight of his career, “it ws the most important game of my life, and I’ll never forget it.”
Sabres.com is counting down the top five “Harry-isms” - or one liners from color commentator Harry Neale. Watch the eight nominees below and rank them from 1-5 with 1 being your favorite. All moments are listed in alphabetical order and are not ranked.
Watch all the nominated Harry-isms and my favorite is…
The Buffalo Sabres today announced they have capped their full season tickets for the 2009-10 season at 14,825, an increase of 500 tickets from last year. After renewing 95% of their season tickets this summer, the club was able to issue over 1,200 new season tickets to members of their Blue & Gold Club.
“Season ticket holders are very important to the business success of the organization,” said Chief Operating Officer, Dan DiPofi. “Our fans have been very loyal over the years and we are extremely grateful they have continued to support the team. We take great pride in the partnership we have nurtured with our fans over the last several years.”
I wonder how some of the other teams are doing in season ticket sales? If you know, feel free to leave a comment.
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
Folks in Sabreland have been worriedly and angrily wringing their hands the last couple of weeks. They’ve watched teams throughout the NHL make changes to their rosters and can’t figure out why the Buffalo Sabres are sticking with what they have.
Lindy Ruff, however, isn’t worried.
“I like what we have here as a team, and these guys can continue to grow,” the coach said Friday….
“I’m OK going in,” said Ruff, whose team finished two points out of a playoff spot. “We were pretty close to being where we wanted to be, and a couple disappointing things happened, and we ended up not getting there. The fact that we were able to put on a strong finish [7-2-1 in the final 10 games] was something that I really felt was important for our team.”
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Minority owner Larry Quinn says he wants to compete for a Stanley Cup, but champions aren’t built by accident. The best teams refuse to make excuses, identify their shortcomings and aggressively address problems. The Sabres have done none of the above in recent years, and there’s little reason to believe it’s going to change any time soon.
Buffalo stocking up on bruisers in the draft was a good sign, but it was two years after it became clear they weren’t tough enough to win it all with the talent they had. Now, they don’t have the talent or the toughness to compete.
That’s why they’re, well, here. They blame injuries when it’s really a lack of depth and character. They point toward big contracts when they could have kept players for less. They preach patience when it’s really status quo. Meanwhile, teams across the league make honest attempts to get significantly better.
Various reports are that Steve Montador has signed with the Buffalo Sabres. TSN reports the deal is for 2 years 3.1 million.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
Of the 246 players selected in the 1974 entry draft, 98 would play in the National Hockey League.
Twenty-one would be all-stars. Fifteen would win the Stanley Cup. Five would play in the Olympics.
Taro Tsujimoto would not be among them. He might have had a chance, had he existed.
As the NHL grinds through seven rounds of the 2009 entry draft, there will not be a story as delightful as that written 35 years ago by the late George (Punch) Imlach, then the general manager of the Buffalo Sabres.
Bucky Gleason and John Vogl both of the Buffalo News play GM (Gleason) & coach (Vogl) for a day.
In addition to Afinogenov and Hecht, Numminen, Peters, Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman are gone. All are either dead weight or will become unrestricted free agents in the next 13 months. They’re expendable for a team that’s two or three years away.
Plus, I need to make room for Jay Bouwmeester, the premier defenseman in the free-agent market. He’s a difference-maker the Sabres have needed and an upgrade over since-departed Brian Campbell. He would immediately stabilize the blue line, help tutor promising rookie Tyler Myers.
Of all the sentences from the Buffalo Sabres during the past two playoff-free seasons, three stick out.
“We came out flat. The effort wasn’t there. We just weren’t ready to play.”
That’s going to stop. The first-period sleepwalk (which occasionally carries into the third) is going to end. The best part is, this Coach for a Day doesn’t need new personnel to do it. The answer is already sitting in the dressing room. So, I present to you the Sabres’ starting lineup each and every night, three guys about whom those quotes never apply:
Paul Gaustad at center, Patrick Kaleta at right wing and Adam Mair at left wing.
Ten years ago, most of us were watching the same thing on television, game six of the 1999 Stanley Cup finals.
Now some members of the Buffalo Sabres are talking about the triple overtime thriller that ended with “no goal.”
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org