'"I haven't really had the chance to sit down with Buffalo and see what their plans are for me," he said.'
'"I'm happy to go to such a great organization. They're a young team, coming up. They have new ownership, and I'm looking forward to working my way up."'
'The Buffalo Sabres selected defenseman Andrej Sekera with the 71st pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, Sekera appeared in 42 games for Trencin, scoring 5 goals and 12 assists for 17 points. The Bojnice, Slovakia native, also registered 16 penalty minutes.'
'The Buffalo Sabres select Michael Funk of the Portland Winter Hawks of the WHL with the 43rd overall selection. Funk, who is a solid two-way defenseman, scored 3 goals and 25 assists in 71 games, while posting 86 penalty minutes.'
'The Milwaukee, Wisconsin native, is considered a smart player who can play multiple positions.'
Listed at 6-foot-1 and 202 pounds, Stafford is considered a strong and mobile skater, who is considered more of a set-up man. Just as important, scouts have noted his defensive play and a willingness to play a hard-checking style.
'You're projected to be a first round pick in the upcoming NHL entry draft. Does that put any more pressure on you to perform well in the NCAA post-season? Well, it's definitely an honor to be considered such a high draft pick. But, being drafted at all is such a privilege that I am thankful I will have an opportunity to do so. It doesn't really put that much pressure on me at all though. I don't think about anything but playing as well as I can every night and helping the team to the best of my abilities.'
'"The NHL scouts look at size, speed, strength, and knowledge of the game," UND head coach Dean Blais said. "And he's got all of that."'
'A college teammate of former first-rounder Zach Praise, Stafford had 11 goals and 21 assists in 36 games as a freshman with the Fighting Sioux. His father, Gord, played minor league hockey from 1980-87 and his uncle, Barrie, is the equipment manager for the Edmonton Oilers.'
'After Medicine Hat defenseman Cameron Barker, who's expected to be among the first five players drafted, the Sabres choices could come down to Canadian juniors Boris Valabik, Mike Green and Jeff Schultz, Michigan State's A.J. Thelen or one of the top-three ranked European blueliners.'
“It was a Saturday morning and one of my chores was to do the lawn work, stated Danny Gare. “It was something to do. There was a three-hour time difference (from Montreal to Nelson, British Columbia), too, so it was mid-morning when I got the call."
The number 13 has not always been unlucky for the Buffalo Sabres. Three times in team history Buffalo has held the 13th overall selection in the NHL Entry Draft. The Sabres most notable pick at the 13th overall spot was their first-round selection in the 1978 Draft. That year, Buffalo chose a hard-nosed defenseman by the name of Larry Playfair.
One lucky Sabres fan can win the Sabres Mini Cooper in September by entering the contest at the Rotary Classic Car Show at the Amherst Pepsi Center on August 1, 2004.
'"I don't think it's any secret that, all things being equal, our preference would be to acquire a defenseman," Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier said. "But the draft varies from year to year. It's important that, first and foremost, we take the best player, the player with the best opportunity to play in the National Hockey League."'
'The Sabres were title contenders throughout most of his 14 seasons, yet made only one appearance in the finals, that in 1975. He retired while still in his prime, after winning the Selke Trophy as the league's top defensive forward in 1984-85, because he thought his impact might be greater as an assistant coach. It's a decision he came to regret.'