Off-Season Game Plan: Buffalo Sabres

‘Depending on how young the Sabres wish to be on the blueline, they could venture into the free agent market, not unlike the forward options, seeking out relatively younger free agents that would find regular playing time appealing; Matt Irwin, Matt Hunwick, Matt Bartkowski – maybe the Sabres should roll out a welcome Matt to improve their blueline depth.’

Ennis’ progress a sign of great things to come

‘The hunger Ennis has displayed to improve rather than take time off and rest up for next season – or at least until it’s time to start training again – is what opens the door for Tyler Ennis to perhaps become the champion all of Buffalo hopes he can be.’

Bettman sees tanking as media-driven issue

‘“I don’t think that teams tank,” Bettman said. “I think teams rebuild, and in terms of the perception we have the mechanisms in place that should, despite suggestions to the contrary, eliminate that debate.”’

Lottery snub aside, Sabre fans should be Jacked

‘First of all, in just about any other year, Jack Eichel is the presumptuous first pick. He isn’t exactly a slouch. Eichel won the Hobey Baker Award this year as the NCAA’s top player. He was a vital cog in the Boston University team that skated all the way to the Frozen Four, but felt short in the national championship to a Cinderella team in Providence.’

Rick Jeanneret on cancer, criticism and why you never heard him talk about tanking

‘“In some cases, I know I can’t hit the high notes like I used to be able to,” he said. “That’s progression and time, that’s all that is. I have to work a little harder at the games to maintain my concentration. It all came so naturally at one point. As you get older, some of your skills erode.’

Sabres’ Rodrigues came for opportunity

‘It’s funny, in typical Buffalo Fan fashion the first question I got was why didn’t he go someplace else, why did the Sabres get him? The answer is simple, he wanted to be here, “The biggest thing was just opportunity, they’re in a bit of a rebuild and it’s a place that just felt right that I could go in and really showcase my talents and the opportunity was there, I don’t think there was as much of an opportunity anywhere else.”’

Friday’s Rochester Coverage

After frustrating season, Amerks’ captain Drew Bagnall hopes to return to Rochester (Amerks.com)

Eichel’s BU linemate Rodrigues signs with Sabres

‘In some respects, Rodrigues played in the shadow of a talented freshman class at Boston University, particularly the one cast by Eichel. The forward from Etobicoke, Ont., was at times overlooked as the attention stayed on Eichel.’

High-scoring college free agent Evan Rodrigues sees fit with Sabres

‘“I see potential that’s there,” Rodrigues, who’s from Toronto, told the Times Herald by phone Wednesday after the deal was announced. “Obviously, my hometown isn’t too far from there. I think it was just when you put it all together with the opportunity, it was just one I felt was right for myself. I can’t wait to start.”

Sabres sign Eichel’s BU teammate Rodrigues to 2-year deal

‘The Sabres, who finished last, have the No. 2 pick after losing the draft lottery to Edmonton on Saturday. That puts Buffalo in a position to select Eichel, who is projected to go second behind Erie Otters center Connor McDavid.’

Sabres sign F Rodrigues

‘The 5-foot-11, 176-pound Rodrigues recently finished his senior season at Boston University, recording 61 points (21 goals, 40 assists) while helping the Terriers advance to the championship game of the NCAA Tournament.’

Sabres ink Eichel’s winger at BU

‘In his four seasons at Boston University, Rodrigues amassed 121 points (42+79) in 146 games played and registered a 0.83 points-per-game average. He was also named a Hockey East Second Team All-Star in his sophomore and senior seasons.’

Sabres sign forward Evan Rodrigues

‘“Evan is a very talented young player who has displayed exceptional growth during his four years at BU,” said Buffalo Sabres General Manager Tim Murray. “We look forward to adding another talented piece to our group.”’

No reason for unrest with Sabres picking second

‘I wish Sabres general manager Tim Murray delivered that message more effectively Saturday night. I’ve defended Murray’s actions in tearing down the middling-to-awful team he inherited. He’s been a refreshingly honest quote. You tend to believe 95 percent of what he says, with about 5 percent lip service, the reverse ratio of most sports executives. But his honesty and lack of perspective in the heat of the moment shined a less-flattering light Saturday.’

Reports: Sabres sign Evan Rodrigues, Jack Eichel’s college linemate

‘The 21-year-old Rodrigues just finished a huge senior season beside Eichel, scoring 21 goals and 61 points in 41 games. Rodrigues ranked second in the NCAA in scoring behind Eichel, the likely No. 2 pick by the Sabres in June, who had 70 points.’