A look back at the career of the man who bridged two eras in Sabres' history — scoring the last goal at Memorial Auditorium and the first goal at Marine Midland Arena — and helped lead Buffalo through five of its most memorable seasons ever.
Archives for June 24, 2001
Of the 12 men who have worn the C for the Buffalo Sabres, only two were never traded: The first captain, Floyd Smith, who would eventually coach the team, and Gilbert Perreault.
Very few players have the skill that Tim Connolly can boast. The center sees the ice well and has a good feel for where his teammates are at all times. Connolly has a great shot, great passing skills and admirable stickhandling ability. He is a team player with a great attitude and drive to compete.
Taylor Pyatt is a monster. He is 6'4", 220 pounds and may still be growing. He has a gritty game and won't hesitate to mix things up. An effective forechecker, Pyatt is also responsible defensively. Despite his size, Pyatt is a good skater and has excellent speed, similar to Sabres' forward Erik Rasmussen. Taylor can be thought of as a slightly bigger version of Denis Hamel, complete with smoother skating and better pure skill.
'"But it's got to feel right. If it doesn't feel right at the time, you gotta ride it out a little longer."'
'"We added a variation of skill and grit and toughness. You're hopeful you can make them National Hockey League players. Chances are, some of them will play."'
'One of the reasons the Sabres didn't name a captain in Peca's absence is that Rhett Warrener, the likely choice, will be negotiating this summer. So the organization held the "C" at bay in order to avoid the possibility of having its captain a no-show to start consecutive seasons.'
'Novotny, 17, was the captain of the Czech Republic Under-18 national team and many scouts like his puck skills. But The Hockey News quoted critics as saying "I watch the game and wonder where he is," and "I don't know if he can be any more than a third-liner."'
'Barring a trade, the Buffalo Sabres are seriously considering spending $9 million to retain All-Star goalie Dominik Hasek's rights for one more season. What is uncertain is whether the Sabres will keep the six-time Vezina Trophy-winner or trade him in order to get some value in return.'