Archives for June 2009

Quinn: Success Comes From Within

‘"I think where the real rubber meets the road is from July 6th on," Quinn told Brian and Nick. "Most of the success of the Sabres comes from the development from within. Where you’re going to see the improvement is from further development of people that need to get better." He specifically mentioned Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek as players who still haven’t reached their full potential.’

Nashville nabs Ellis

‘Kassian goes to a Buffalo organization that was dying to add a big, physical presence. He had 24 goals and 63 points in 61 games along with 136 penalty minutes. "The work’s just starting now," he said. "There are no guarantees (to make the team) and you’re playing versus men to play in the NHL."’

Saturday’s Zack Kassian Coverage

Interest high in Kassian (Peterborough Examiner)

Kassian won’t have to play waiting game (Windsor Star)

Kassian likened to Lucic (Windsor Star)

Kassian declines Russian league (Peterborough Examiner)

Sabres select rugged RW Kassian with No. 13 pick

‘Kassian is expected to continue developing in the juniors next season.’

Sabres select Kassian with No. 1 pick

‘"He was a player that we felt strongly about," said Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier. "You’re always talking about taking the best player, but it’s tough to ignore when the needs match up with what you feel is the best player. I think he’ll be a really good fit."’

Sabres&#8217 Myers helped foe grow

‘“Playing against a guy like that, who’s definitely going to be in the NHL next year, being that big and that strong — an NHL-style defenseman — really helped me improve my game and show me where I need to be,” Kane said Thursday. “That definitely helped me see what it’s going to be like in the next level.”’

Help hardly on the way for Sabres

‘Appearing Monday on WGR Radio, Regier nearly made me drive off the road when he said the team was “still on the upswing.” The upswing? The upswing? Remind me to head for cover when we approach the downswing.’

Ruff faces Olympian task

‘“I’m humbled, first of all, because there’s a good number of my peers that could easily be in this position,” Ruff said. “It’s a tremendous opportunity to be involved in something real special.”’

Sabres plan bulk for farm

‘"Most of (the draft picks) will return to the collegiate level or play junior hockey," said Buffalo General Manager Darcy Regier. "They’re a year or two away."’

Sabres GM Regier maintains patient approach

‘"They really have to look at themselves first and then at each other and, starting with themselves, say, `How can I help this team?’ And then, looking at each other, say, `How can I help you help this team?’" Regier said. "I think we’re at a growth stage in this organization where not only can they do that, they need to do that."’

Sabres find talent in roundabout way

‘Of the 291 first-round picks in the 10-year span, only 33 failed to make the NHL. The Sabres’ three no-shows account for 9 percent of those failures, tied for most in the league. Edmonton, New Jersey, Phoenix and the New York Rangers also whiffed three times. But the Sabres are able to unearth contributors in the ensuing rounds. In fact, they do it at a better rate than the last six Stanley Cup champions.’

Ruff will be assistant for Canada in Olympics

‘Ruff will help head coach Mike Babcock along with Ken Hitchcock and Jacques Lemaire.’

Free Agency Crunch Time

‘Let’s start by freeing up some extra money off the current roster to give Regier a little more flexibility on the open market. However possible, I would rid myself of three bad contracts — Jochen Hecht ($3.8 million!), Toni Lydman ($3.1 million) and Henrik Tallinder ($3.25 million) — by making some moves at this weekend’s draft. Lydman should be able to fetch a higher draft pick than the other two, but Regier may have to settle for seventh-round picks for Hecht and Tallinder, if he can move them at all. Assuming some team bites on each of those trades, Buffalo would be down to $36.389 tied up in current contracts.’

Same old, same old for Sabres?

‘The scrutiny and pressure Regier and Ruff will face could be at an all-time high. The Sabres had to announce in April the duo would return for a 12th season. Despite their impressive resumes, Buffalo has missed the playoffs two straight seasons and five of the last seven. Any other team would have canned them years ago.’

Wednesday’s Portland Coverage

Despite the talk, Dineen’s a Pirate (Portland Press Herald)