'“It’s exciting to be playing somewhat close to home, and it’s nice to be back in this part of the country,” said Cullen, who makes his off-season home in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, with wife Alyssa and 8-month-old son Tyler.'
'He's one of those big, stay at home types.'
Critics, however, claim Drurys contract posturing revealed his true feelings. They suggest Drury, a restricted free agent, orchestrated his departure by making salary demands he knows the Flames could not or would not meet.
'Published reports in Rochester say the two way contract hinges on the centerman passing a physical. Pittis missed three months last year in Nashville's organization with a concussion. He did return to play the end of the season and says he feels fine.'
'Bouchard had five goals and seven assists in 27 games with the Rangers. He appeared in seven games for the Penguins, recording one assist.'
'"Joel is someone (who's) gotten better every season and we look for him to continue his development with our organization," Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said. "He's an excellent skater, he's got offensive skills and gives us additional depth on the blue line."'
'Bouchard, 29 , has spent time with seven different teams over the last five seasons. Last year, he was involved in the deal that sent Penguins forward Alexei Kovalev to the Rangers.'
'University of Minnesota men's hockey coach Don Lucia met with Thomas Vanek this week for the first time since the freshman star was picked No. 5 by Buffalo in last month's NHL draft. Vanek indicated he is leaning toward returning for his sophomore season.'
'Pittis said on Sunday that he has agreed to terms on a contract with the Buffalo Sabres organization and is well aware that he is slotted to play for the Amerks unless he can turn heads in training camp.'
'Here's the dilemma: If Vanek stays in school another year, it could turn into two more years with an expected labor war between the NHL and its players' association threatening to wipe out the 2004-05 season.'
'Bouchard had five goals, seven assists and a plus-6 rating in 27 games with the Rangers last season. He was dealt to Pittsburgh in February as part of the deal that sent star forward Alexei Kovalev to the Rangers, and he had one assist in five games before suffering a broken jaw. He returned to play two more games at the end of the year.'
'Bouchard will be playing for his eighth team in his last six years.'
'The Sabres have added a little depth, and hopefully a little size and muscle, by signing unrestricted free agent defenseman Joel Bouchard.'
'They agreed to terms with 29-year old journeyman defenseman Joel Bouchard. He's a 6-foot-1 209 pound blue liner.'
'''The leadership with Rayzor, Rhett and Stu we're going to miss,'' Sabre Eric Boulton said. ''But we gotta find other guys to do that. Other guys are getting older and have been around longer. They gotta be leaders next year.'''