Archive for July, 2011


Sabres Ink Deal with Enroth

The Sabres announced today that they have re-signed Goaltender Jhonas Enroth to a 2 year deal. It was reported by a swedish news paper that the salary is 1.35 Million Total over the 2 years. With the signing the Sabres have one RFA left which is Defensemen Marc-Andre Gragnani.


Sabres Re-Sign $ekera and Ellis

The Sabres have announce today that they have come to terms with RFA Defensemen Andrej Sekera and UFA Forward Matt Ellis. The signing of Sekera comes 6 days before an arbitration hearing. Terms of the deals haven’t been announced yet, however they are both multi-year deals.

* Note Sekera’s deal is reported to be a 4-year deal worth $11 million ($4,750,000 signing bonus by July 2012).


Sabres Announce Team Broadcast Schedule

Today the Sabres Announce the Broadcast Team Schedule for this upcoming season. Rick Jeanneret and Harry Neale will call 57 of the Sabres 82 Games this season. Kevin Sylvester and Danny Gare will call the remaining 23 Games. Sylvester and Gare will call the Following Games:

November 5 at Ottawa

November 18 at Carolina

November 25 at Columbus

December 3rd at Nashville

January 6 at Carolina

January 14 at NY Islanders

January 16 at Detroit

January 18 at Chicago

January 19 at Winnipeg

January 21 at St. Louis

January 24 at New Jersey

January 31 at Montreal

February 4 at NY Islanders

February 16 at Philadelphia

February 24 vs Boston

February 25 at NY Rangers

February 29 at Anaheim

March 1 at San Jose

March 3 at Vancouver

March 5 at Winnipeg

March 17 at Florida

March 18 at Tampa Bay

March 23 at NY Rangers

Saturday’s Prospect Scrimmage

I arrived early enough to get a good seat around the red line.  It wasn’t overly full when I showed up probably a half hour before the start.   The crowd did fill in heavily though before the start of the scrimmage.  Former Sabre Mike Foligno was in attendance to watch son Marcus headlining the White team.  Dan Catenacci and Gregg Sutch were listed on the team rosters, but didn’t play in the game.  Drew Schiestel also did not play in the game.



Grey Squad


Ennis – Adam – Kassian

Henley – Shipley – Tropp

McCarron – Isackson – Jokinen


Crawford – Biega

McNabb – Gauther-Leduc

Bailen – Adams





White Squad


Foligno – Sundher – Parker

Boychuk – Sundher / Varone / Navin – Szydlowski

Lagace – Varone – Beyers

Wudrick – Navin – Zarbo


Brennan – M. MacKenzie

D. MacKenzie – Pysyk

Lepkowski – Fienhage






The Grey squad started off with Ennis – Adam and Kassian.  For much of the scrimmage, the trio were able to hold the puck well in the offensive zone, occasionally frustrating the D.  Brennan and M. MacKenzie were on D most of the time that the big trio were out there.  Ennis-Adam-Kassian were able to keep pressure going in the White zone, but Brennan and MacKenzie kept them out of the slot for the most part, making the trio keep a “perimeter” game going.

Brennan had a great poke check of the puck when the trio were coming in on a 3-on-1.  T.J. played the play perfectly.  Later on Ennis did score on a 3-on-1 setup from Kassian.  Kassian skated well, kept up with Ennis as well as possible, looked good out there, physical play, tough along the boards.  Kassian can hold the puck well in the offensive zone.  He slows it down but uses his size advantage to ward off defensemen from inside the half-boards to behind the net.

Luke Adam was winning most all of his faceoffs but otherwise was so-so.  His skating was decent.


Team White’s Marcus Foligno played a strong game, was in front of the opposing net often.  Scored a goal in the paint.  Kevin Sundher was showing off some wheels for Team White.  Good cycling in his own zone to lead up rushes on a few occasions.  Almost had a breakaway once but was stifled by Nick Crawford.  Sundher’s lack of defensive abilties looked pretty glaring.  He played against the big trio on the other team and couldn’t get the puck away, wasn’t aggressive.  I think Kassian was intimidating some of the Team White players.

Team Grey’s John McCarron was all effort all game.  He was jumping after loose pucks, taking pucks away, doing whatever he could to get a goal (which he did with one second left in the scrimmage).  All effort, quite impressive.  Stood out in a very good way amongst the “no names”.

Team White’s pairing of T.J. Brennan and Matt MacKenzie worked out alright.  They had plenty to contend with dealing with Ennis-Adam-Kassian.  Drew MacKenzie had his ups and downs… some plays good, some not so good, but puts forth a decent effort.

I didn’t notice Team White’s Mark Pysyk too much, which maybe is a good thing.  He took a possible scoring opportunity away from Kassian, wheeled in his own zone and made Kassian chase him up ice.  Quality play there by Pysyk.

Alex Lepkowski played very well, very physical for Team White.  Very rugged along the boards.  Played a simple game, rough on the forwards, get the puck, skate, get it out.  Put a good hit on Kassian on one play.  Better skater than I thought he would be.  Even almost had a near breakaway at one point.

Brayden McNabb seemed semi-invisible, but played alright.  He played a physical game down low.  A few good outlet passes.

Alex Biega played tough, hard checking along the boards, not giving an inch there.  I believe he had one or two not so great giveaways in his own zone, but he is a very good skater with a quick burst out of the defensive zone.

Mark Adams was hit and miss.  He shied away from a Foligno hit once.  In the neutral zone, on more than one occasion he was willing to let the opposition take control of the puck while he skated backwards.

Jerome Gauther-Leduc is all wheels.  Fast, smooth skater, he’ll jump into the offensive zone any chance he can get.  Didn’t see him get to unleash his slapshot.

Corey Fienhage was o.k. at times.  A time or two he couldn’t clear the puck and the Ennis-Adam-Kassian trio kept the puck in the White zone.

Justin Jokinen skated well, skated hard… kept trying to go wide on the defense to fire a shot to the corner of the net.  None of those shots were ever going to go in the net.  Decent effort from him though.  Was skating strong most all of the scrimmage.

Steve Beyers showed some spunk in the scrimmage.  The camp invite scored the first goal of the game off of a feed from Foligno.  Team Grey was either doing a line change or not in position, but he sniped one to get the first goal of the game.  Beyers has some wheels on himself.  Quick skater, nose for the puck / net.

Riley Boychuk is definitely a banger.  He threw some big glass-rattling hits for Team White.  Also came close a few times in the slot to getting a goal.  Big, rangy kid.  Skated well too.

Corey Tropp was alright.  I don’t recall him too much.  Didn’t see any glaring mistakes, but no big plays either.

John Parker can stickhandle like a demon, but he’s a small kid.  He had some offensive chances, but had a bit of difficulty maintaining possession of the puck at times.

Brad Navin played well, ended up getting a goal… pretty much an empty-netter.  He has a nose for the net certainly.   Not afraid to get into the high traffic areas.  His goal came about from a smart play by T.J Brennan in his own end.  Seeing the opposition ready to line change, Brennan fired a pass up to Matt Zarbo??? and that was fed to Navin in the slot for the easy goal.

Phil Varone and the aforementioned Zarbo had some good energy out there, quick skaters.  Didn’t disappoint but didn’t stand out either.

Cedrick Henley struggled mightily.  He looked labored in his skating, wasn’t able to keep up with the play.  He had a few bad turnovers as well.  All in all, not a positive outing.

Geordie Wudrick looked labored in his skating as well… almost winded.  Just couldn’t keep up with the play.


As far as the goalies are concerned, both Nick Eno and Connor Knapp played very well, as they were in net for the first half of the game.  Knapp made several solid saves, especially in close as the Ennis-Adam-Kassian were getting the puck to the paint often.  Knapp held his ground well during his time in net.

Eno looked just as solid as Knapp.  He made several very good saves, some screen shots he was getting the pad on.  On one play, Eno had the highlight play of the day with a diving save in front of an open net.  Definite ESPN Top 10 stuff.  Great save and he played very well in the contest.

The other two goalies?  John Cullen was decent… and Michael Houser was getting housed.


O.k., that’s enough.  Any questions?  Send them to the Prospect Camp thread.





Prospect camp begins today


The Sabres prospect camp begins today at Niagara University’s Dwyer Arena.  The schedule is for morning ice-times and runs through Sunday.  Check the Sabres’ official site for any modifications ( likely to happen ) to the schedule.

The following is a list of players attending:


Goalies: Connor Knapp, Nathan Lieuwen, Nick Eno, Michael Houser*, John Cullen*.

Houser played last season with the London Knights in the OHL.  He went 30-19-5 and carried a 3.32 GAA, .904 Save% and had one shutout.

Cullen is from Hamburg and split last season between the OHL’s Sarnia Sting and Windsor Spitfires.


Defensemen: Mark Pysyk, Drew Schiestel, Brayden McNabb, T.J. Brennan, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, Matt MacKenzie, Nick Crawford, Alex Biega, Drew MacKenzie, Alex Lepkowski, Corey Fienhage, Mark Adams, Nick Bailen*.

Bailen is from Fredonia and plays defense for R.P.I.  Last year he had 8-28-36 totals in 38 games played.


Forwards: Tyler Ennis, Luke Adam,Zack Kassian, Marcus Foligno, Corey Tropp, Dan Catenacci, Kevin Sundher, Colin Jacobs, Brad Navin, Steve Shipley, Christian Isackson, Riley Boychuk, Shawn Szydlowski, Justin Jokinen, Jacob Lagace, Phil Varone*, Geordie Wudrick*, Matt Zarbo*, Steven Beyers*, Jonathan Parker*, John McCarron*.

Varone was a 5th round pick in 2009 for the Sharks.  This past season he went 33-48-81 in 55 games for the OHL’s Erie Otters.

Wudrick was a 3rd round selection in 2008 for the Kings.  He’s 6-4 and 215 pounds.  Wudrick went 43-16-59 in 71 games for the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets.

Zarbo is from Grand Island and played for Clarkson this past season.  He went 6-8-14 in 28 games.

Beyers plays for the Barrie Colts, and in his first OHL campaign he put up 23-42-65 in 66 games.

Parker lit the lamp 45 times this past season for the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL.  His totals were 45-41-86 in 71 games.

McCarron played for the Lincoln Stars in the USHL last year.  6-3 and 215, he put up 113 penalty minutes in 60 games.  He also scored 24 goals and assisted on 33 others.




Sabres Sign Defenseman Mike Weber

Today the Sabres announced that they have agreed to a multi-year contract with RFA Defensemen Mike Weber. The Contract is a reported 2-years worth 1.9 Million which averages out to 950 k a season. In 58 Games last season Weber had 17 Points(4 G, 13 A), +13 Rating, and 69 PIM’s. The Signing of Weber leaves the Sabres less than $355,000 under the Salary Cap.


Tim Connolly Signs with Toronto!!!!

Tim Connolly is no longer a Buffalo Sabre! Connolly signed a two year, $9.5 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Connolly has been a Sabre for a decade, coming over from the Islanders with Taylor Pyatt in exchange for Mike Peca.  Connolly has long lived on the promise of the immense skill he possesses but has generally failed to live up to expectations in Buffalo.


Niedermayer goes to Europe

Rob Niedermayer’s NHL career may be over, he’s headed to Europe.   The 36 year old has signed a contract with Lugano in the Swiss League.  Hopefully Lugano can give him jerseys with his name properly spelled on them.  The Sabres are over the salary cap at the moment so it seems certain none of their veteran unrestricted free agents will return to the team as players this season.


Sabres’ PC: Leino Plan B

The Buffalo Sabres never traveled to Mississauga today contrary to reports that stated otherwise.  Regier said they had planned to go up but then decided not to.  Regier said the team moved into another direction and Leino was it. Leino will play center for the Sabres. The team will pursue trades to upgrade center.

Sabres sign Ville Leino to 6 year Deal

The Buffalo Sabres have signed Ville Leino.  According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie it’s a 6 year contract for $27 million.  The right winger scored 19 goals, 34 assits and was a +14 last year with the Flyers.  From the Hockey Forecaster:


ASSETS: An unselfish and gifted playmaker, he’s a strong puckhandler with good vision and supreme passing skills. He’s also a pretty versatile forward.

FLAWS: Doesn’t shoot the puck nearly enough. Not very big or fast, he can also be a liability at times because of his lack of physicality.

CAREER POTENTIAL: Creative playmaking winger.

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