‘I hope Lindy stays. With one more season before the huge labor battle between owners and players, I don’t believe there will be a better coach available to take the youthful and rebuilding Sabres through next season. Ruff will provide the a smoothest transition for the new Sabres ownership, and the move into a new labor system in the NHL.’
'The Buffalo Sabres on Monday recalled defenseman Radoslav Hecl from the Rochester Americans.'
'Suddenly, a franchise that spent the last two seasons avoiding financial and artistic bankruptcy looks like one of the league's up-and-comers.'
'Three weeks ago, Jochen Hecht felt he was having one of the worst seasons in his hockey career. Then the Buffalo Sabres traded for Daniel Briere.'
'Barnes wasn't bothered by the oversight nearly as much as he was troubled by the trade itself. He and his family loved Buffalo. He took the Sabres' on-ice troubles personally and was determined to help turn it around.'
'The Sabres have converted 18 of 81 power-play chances over their past 19 games (22.2 percent).'
'With Buffalo Sabres defensemen Brian Campbell and Rhett Warrener being placed in virtual quarantine on Saturday for fear that they may have come in contact with the SARS illness, Paul Gaustad and Sean McMorrow did some thinking — and worrying — of their own. The Rochester Americans were both with the Sabres recently. Gaustad played last Monday against Colorado, and McMorrow played in Toronto on March 22.'
Former Buffalo captain Stu Barnes, obtained by the Stars on March 10, will play his first game against his former teammates.
'Health officials suggested Saturday that they remain isolated for 10 days, but the team lists the players as day-to-day. Gilbert didn't rule them out of the rest of the season.'
The Sabres said Campbell and Warrener showed no signs of being infected with the virus yesterday. Sabres officials did not say how long the players would be kept away from the rest of the team.
A female relative of Campbell, a hospital worker in Ontario, visited the players Monday. She was hospitalized Friday after showing symptoms of the disease.
'"It was one helluva effort," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "We got the job done with special teams, and that was the game. We took advantage of our (power-play) chances early, and they failed to take advantage of theirs."'
'Campbell and Warrener, who are roommates, are being isolated at home and are under observation. As of Saturday, neither player had shown signs of being infected with the virus. Billittier said most infected individuals show symptoms within seven days of exposure, although in some cases it has taken up to 10 days for symptoms to appear.'
'But I also know effort when I see it and for more than a month the Sabres, particularly the young ones, are extending the effort.'
'"It just FEELS more like hockey here," said Briere, who was raised in Hull, Quebec, just outside Ottawa. "All my friends, my wife, everybody has been saying, "You have so much more energy, just in your voice, when we talk to you now. You look more happy.' When I was traded, it was like a new start."'