‘Buffalo will play Northeast Division counterpart Canadiens, Senators, Maple Leafs and Bruins six times each. They will also face-off against each non-divisional conference opponent four times each. The Sabres will play 15 non-conference opponents, including a pair of short west coast stints that will take place in late December and early January.’
No big hurry to sign Pirates coach (Portland Press Herald)
‘The 2010-11 schedule was released Tuesday, and the Sabres play back-to-back games an astounding 22 times. Those 44 games comprise more than half their 82-game schedule.’
‘Connolly should have been gone at the 2008-09 trade deadline and instead was given a $1 million raise in a two-year extension. Ridiculous. He’s a primary example of the Sabres becoming enamored with the wrong players, one they kept in lieu of others with value. He’s not in my plans and I don’t want him around my collection of young players.’
‘“People don’t talk enough about the regular season,” said Miller, who is finalist for the Vezina along with four-time winner Marty Brodeur and Ilya Bryzgalov. “We play hard for 82 games and that has to count for something. We won our division and I’m proud of the things we did. These awards are for the regular season and I’m happy to be here.”
‘"It was a long season," Myers said by phone. "I had a lot of fun with it. It was definitely an adjustment. I think when the season ended I took a little time to actually start to realize what actually just happened, and it was definitely a year I won’t forget."’
‘"Obviously, the Russians are a little bit of a question mark. I wouldn’t see us delving into the Russian market, especially early, until things get cleared up there," Devine said. "But if [Zack] Kassian wasn’t there [at the 13th pick] last year, we were taking a European. The Swedes and the Finns and the Germans and some of those guys we have no problem taking."’
Vanek finally did reward Ruff’s faith. Unfortunately, he went on a tear with two games left in the regular season. Five goals in two days got Vanek to 28, his lowest total since his rookie year. It’s not what the Sabres expected from someone who score 40 goals the year before and flirted with 50.
Since the Sabres’ opening-round playoff loss to Boston Bruins, Connolly and Roy have endured scads of criticism in Buffalo. They earned it. Neither scored a goal against the Bruins. Connolly registered just a single assist. Roy managed two. That’s awful.
‘Mainstays Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman are both unrestricted free agents. The Sabres desperately need a defenseman to quarterback their abysmal power play, so a signing or trade is a possibility. It appears Mike Weber, who played so well for the Sabres two years ago, and Marc-Andre Gragnani are ready to graduate from the AHL.’
‘Here’s a look at the team’s situation in goal heading into the summer.’
‘The next biggest need for Buffalo is a legitimately dangerous power-play quarterback on defense. Since Brian Campbell left, the Sabres have lacked a player with the ability to settle their power play and command respect with his shot. The Sabres have a few intriguing prospects in the system in Marc-Andre Gragnani and TJ Brennan who could fill that need, but they have yet to show that they can be dominant. The draft this year is stacked with big, smooth-skating defensemen, however, outside of the top four rated blueliners no one stands out as a dominant power-play quarterback.’
Is Patrick Kane’s Stanley Cup winning goal the biggest accomplishment ever by an athlete who’s from Buffalo?
‘Other than super goalie Ryan Miller, Buffalo’s team is not built for the mental and physical grind that extends from April to June. The Sabres have some players any contender would love to have on its roster, but not enough of them to survive the spring or even move beyond the first round. Every team needs to have finesse players. Buffalo has its quota and beyond of finesse guys but, other than Thomas Vanek, none in the breathtaking category of Kane or Danny Briere of Philadelphia, once Buffalo property but allowed to leave without compensation.’
‘"I was happy to see Darcy’s (Regier) comments that they’re not abandoning him," Boughner said. "I don’t think anybody would. It doesn’t make him a bad person what happened. It’s maturity and growing up and trying to take the positive and learn a lesson."’