'A source close to the NHLPA told The Buffalo News at least six other unrestricted free agents who otherwise would've qualified for lockout compensation were dropped from the union and considered retired. The list includes two ex-Sabres: forward Joe Juneau, who finished last season with the Montreal Canadiens, and defenseman Calle Johansson, who came out of retirement to finish with the Toronto Maple Leafs.'
Archives for December 2004
MacArthur, a third round pick (74th overall) of the Buffalo Sabres, might not be a household name on the national stage but he is making people take notice of his ability. I would argue that Clarke MacArthur is the best two-way forward in the Western Hockey League, said Blair Mackasey, head scout for Hockey Canada.
'"Here's a kid that's been one of the leading scorers in the Western Hockey League over the past two years. He comes here and plays an energy role for us or on what we like to call our energy line," Hockey Canada director of scouting Blair Mackasey said. "Not only does he contribute in that sense, but he can also put the puck in the net."'
'He has settled down considerably since the record-setting Michigan State product turned pro two years ago. He endured some tumultuous moments with the Sabres when he discovered the NHL was a lot tougher than than college. "I was cocky and fool-hearted," Miller said. "I was naive. My game needed to be tweaked."'
'"The hockey players don't realize all the people they're hurting – not only us, but the restaurants, people in the parking lots and others," said Mary Czechowski, a Sabres beer vendor for a quarter-century. "They're making millions, and we're making minimum wage."'
'They're mystified that it has come to this, the season a few scant weeks from being scrapped. They've done the math, considered the league's meager national television contract, found it impossible to reconcile any collective bargaining agreement that nurtures rampant salary escalation. They wonder what numbers NHLPA chief Bob Goodenow is feeding his players that could possibly portray the league as healthier than its fundamentals.'
'"When Goodenow was going over everything," Ray said, "I asked some questions about the insurance plan, and he looked right in my eyes and said, "Rayzor, even guys like you who might never play again will be carried through this whole thing.' " The NHLPA's intentions apparently changed a month ago. Ray said he received a Nov. 26 letter from the NHLPA informing him he was removed from the union and considered retired.'
'With 17,898 fans looking on and cheering from opening faceoff to the final buzzer, the game had the feel of the NHL. The crowd was the largest ever to watch an Amerks game, and the eighth largest in AHL history.'
'Considering gross ticket revenue from Tuesday night's game against the Edmonton Road Runners at HSBC Arena approached $200,000, the Amerks will give strong consideration to bringing their product to the backyard of their parent team, the Buffalo Sabres, again if the NHL season is canceled by the owners' lockout. "It would take us four Fridays or eight to 10 Wednesday or Sunday games (in Rochester) to equal what we generated (Tuesday night) in revenue," Donner said. "This was an unbelievable shot in the arm for the organization."'
'"It's been worse than cocaine withdrawal," said the Sabres' season-ticket holder from suburban Tonawanda. "Hockey is a way of life for us."'
'Rochester played two games in hockey starved Buffalo this season. Nearly 30 thousand saw the Amerks play. A record single game crowd for the team witnessed a win Tuesday.
'A crowd of 17,898 fans watched at the HSBC Arena, the home rink of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres. The crowd was the eighth-largest in AHL history, giving hockey-starved Buffalo Sabres fans a chance to watch the organization's prospects as the NHL lockout continues.'
'The contest was the second visit to HSBC Arena by the Amerks in 2004-05. The first game featured an Amerks’ 3-1 win over the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks on November 5th in front of a franchise-record crowd of 12,126.'
'Veteran tough guy Rob Ray sued the NHL Players Association, claiming he has been shut out of the union's lockout compensation fund as punishment because he said in October he would return to the ice if the NHL used replacement players.'
'The game will reawaken HSBC Arena. More than 14,000 tickets had been sold by Monday afternoon, and a strong walk-up crowd could push the attendance to a level the Sabres would consider impressive for a Tuesday night NHL contest.'