Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
(Ryan) Miller looked around and realized everything he wanted in his career was right here. He was the No. 1 goalie for a team that had a taste of success and was starving for it again. He had built a network of friends, people he trusted away from hockey. He had earned his place within the community and was guaranteed to make a good buck.
Mostly, though, he saw the core of teammates with whom he had built a strong bond, a group that had blossomed and helped the Sabres reach the Eastern Conference finals two straight years, blood brothers who wanted to stay together. He wasn’t looking to leave Buffalo for Detroit. He wanted to find the Red Wings’ success with the Sabres.
“It didn’t really click for them until they became a cohesive unit,” Miller said.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
In a surprising choice, defenseman Craig Rivet was named captain of the Buffalo Sabres today, coach Lindy Ruff announced after practice in HSBC Arena.
“I’m obviously a little bit surprised,” Rivet said. “I’m new to the team and organization but .‚.‚. this means a lot to me today. Maybe I’ve been through a little more than most guys. It’s a credit to myself that I’ve persevered through a lot throughout my career. This is a great day. I’m happy to be part of a real strong unit of leadership on this team.”
from Jason Kay of the Hockey News,
In places such as Chicago, Anaheim, Atlanta, Columbus, Boston, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Washington (and all of Canada, of course) there is a belief among our correspondents that excitement is high in the markets they cover, never mind this is prime time for MLB playoffs, the NFL season is in full swing and the global economy is in a free-fall.
However, a couple lines in one of the stories triggered alarm bells for me. Call it my DEW (Distant Early Warning) sensor going off, but I have a modicum of concern for a team in hockey’s heartland: the Buffalo Sabres.
“Buffalo just doesn’t seem as psycho about the Sabres,” writes our contributor John Vogl.
via the Buffalo Sabres,
Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier announced that forward Paul Gaustad had a torn ligament in his right thumb surgically repaired today. He is expected to be out a minimum of 3-4 weeks.
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
There are several ways to look at Maxim Afinogenov’s reappearance on the top scoring line. It could be because the Buffalo Sabres want to showcase him for other teams. It could be because they want to boost his confidence after a terrible season. And maybe, just maybe, he’s there because they feel that’s where he belongs….
The Sabres need his help if they want to return to the playoffs. Afinogenov’s play nose-dived last season. Formerly a point-per-game star, he had just 10 goals and 18 assists in 56 games with a team-worst minus-16 rating….
“I haven’t lost any confidence because I’m healthy right now, which is the most important thing,” Afinogenov said. “When I was injured, I couldn’t even practice, I can’t be in shape. When I was on the ice, I was out of shape. Right now, I worked hard in the summer and prepared for the season, and I’m ready to go.”
The General Manager of the Buffalo Sabres, Darcy Regier has signed a two-year contract extension. The announcement was made Saturday at HSBC Arena by manager partner Larry Quinn and team owner Tom Golisano.
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
Numminen went through the physical process again Friday in HSBC Arena. This time, he didn’t skip a beat.
“It’s special to be back. It’s an exciting day,” Numminen said. “I’ve been waiting for this. I feel good. I feel strong. I feel comfortable. I feel healthy. I feel normal. So everything’s going well.”
The defenseman had no problems with either the physical or the rigorous on-ice testing he and the Sabres underwent on the opening day of training camp. He knew he’d be fine. He recently visited his doctors at the Cleveland Clinic and passed their tests, too.
Next up is proving that a 40-year-old can return to the NHL after nearly a full year away.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Slowly but surely, GM Darcy Regier got himself off the mat after the Drury/Briere nightmare (he also lost Brian Campbell, forced to trade the star blueliner after failing to sign him last February) and began to lock up the rest of the team’s key players.
“I was talking to [coach] Lindy [Ruff]. The environment that we live in is very different than the pre-lockout CBA,” Regier told ESPN.com. “With the offer sheets and unrestricted free agency at the latest at 27—it forces teams to make decisions earlier and to make them for a longer period of time….”
from WGR 550,
The Sabres have signed forward Jason Pominville to a multi-year contract extension. The 26-year old was entering the final year of his contract, but will now be with the team long-term. Financial terms were not given.
added 3:15pm, via the Buffalo Sabres,
Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier announced today the Sabres have agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension with right winger Jason Pominville, keeping him in Buffalo through the 2013-14 season.
from WGR 550,
WGR has learned that Jason Pominville has set a Friday deadline to get a deal done with the Sabres. Agent Norman DuPoint said he and Pominville have agreed they do not want negotiations going on once Pominville gets to camp.
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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