'The best news for Regier in a nonseason that hasn't produced much good news is the play of goalie Ryan Miller in Rochester. The young guy who experienced a meltdown after getting shelled in an early season game with the Sabres in 2003 is a different player physically and emotionally. He's the big reason the Amerks have become dominant after their slow start.'
'During his four seasons with the Sabres, he was a plus-87 in the regular season. That means 87 more goals were scored for the Sabres while he was on the ice than against. “I was a consistent defenseman,” he said. “I did nothing exceptionally well, except work hard at trying to be consistent playing defense, contributing a little offense and being a good penalty killer.”'
'The 36-year-old Sitler has become one of the few people to benefit from the 135-day NHL lockout, which has created hardships for some business owners, laid-off team employees and game-night workers. Sitler, a local marketing professional and a Sabres fan, misses his NHL hockey.'
'''Some people believe we can still start the season in the middle of February and make it work. I don't see it happening,'' Patrick said.'
'Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff will be part of a six-coach think tank that will meet today at the NHL offices in Toronto to discuss rule changes and ideas on improving the game.'
'"Nothing's coming from this side," McKee said. "The ball's in their court. Hearing Bill Daly's comments that he's trying to put something together that would be workable for both sides is where the small amount of optimism lies. Things certainly don't look good, and after Trevor's meetings they look terrible, possibly the worst that it's ever looked. But you just have to hold out hopes (the owners) put out one more offer that's worth looking at."'
'Whatever the case, Stafford’s performance should have the Sabres hockey department feeling good about their most recent first round selection. They may even be feeling some pride in the play of two more of their WJC participants, Clarke MacArthur and Denis Ezhov. The pair turned in solid performances of their own, with MacArthur taking home a gold medal playing for Canada and Ezhov bagging silver with the Russian team.'
'And it needs every penny it can get because of the rights deal it pays the Sabres when they play. The rights fee had been inflated when Adelphia owned the Sabres because it was used to reduce the team's losses. Now that Adelphia no longer owns the Sabres, industry experts suggest the $9 million annual deal may be three times the actual market value.'
'McKee did admit from a personal standpoint, he understands why fans believe the players should accept a cap. "If players were greedy, they would just simply take a deal now, make their money and let the guys behind them get screwed with it" the 27 year old McKee said. Mckee said it would make sense for he and many other players in his age range to just take the money and run rather than risk two years worth of salary but as a group it comes down to what they think is fair for the future players.'
'“Everyone knew for two years the lockout was coming,” said Boulton. “Knowing that gave us a chance to save money and prepare for anything else that might happen.”'
'The Buffalo News reported earlier this month that Adelphia had rejected a $17 million offer for Empire from a group led by Buffalo native Joshua Pollack. Adelphia has told Empire employees that the network would be losing $10 million a year if the Sabres were playing, because of the rights fee of about $9 million it pays to the Sabres. The cable company also contended that the Pollack-led proposal would have been "worse than the status quo" because of requirements in it, but did not elaborate on the requirements.'
'Adelphia has negotiated a deal to sublet Sabres' broadcasts to New York City-based Madison Square Garden Network for the remaining two years of its television contract with the NHL franchise, Haywood said. The deal has the Sabres' approval.'
'At its peak, Empire, known for its coverage of Buffalo area professional, amateur, and college sports teams, employed about 115 at its peak.'
'When the Buffalo Sabres start playing hockey again, they'll be on MSG network.'
'…the Empire Sports Network has ceased operations, effective immediately.'