‘Veteran defensemen Jay McKee and Teppo Numminen and forward Mike Grier are the only regulars eligible to be unrestricted free agents in July. The rest of Buffalo’s core players — including Drury, Daniel Briere and goaltender Ryan Miller — are either under contract or the team has the option to retain their rights.’
Archives for June 2, 2006
'The Sabres are obviously disappointed that they won't be sipping from Lord Stanley's cup this year. Still, hundreds greeted them at Prior Aviation when they arrived back from Raleigh early Friday morning.'
‘In the end, the injuries that felled four of its six starting defensemen and star center Tim Connolly proved too much for the Sabres. The Sabres led 2-1 after two periods, but the Hurricanes netted three in the third to ice the win.’
‘The Sabres went into the game 9-0 when leading after two periods in the playoffs. The Hurricanes were 1-6 when trailing. “We had them where we wanted them after the second period,” Briere said. “We were confident, but we didn’t have quite enough to get the job done tonight.”‘
‘”It was kind of a little scrum there, and I just backed up to get in position,” Fitzpatrick said after the 4-2 loss. “Looking around, I thought the puck was still in the scrum, and I never saw it.”‘
‘McKee’s strep infection developed when bacteria came into contact with a gash caused by a blocked shot he took in the second round against the Ottawa Senators. The cut didn’t require stitches, but it wouldn’t close because pucks repeatedly struck the area in practices and games. Strep infections of the skin are rare, but cases involving athletes usually are the result of old, sweaty equipment. Buffalo’s longest-tenured player still uses pads from his junior days. His shin guards are relics.’
‘Of course, there will be more questions than answers during the offseason. It’s the case for 29 teams that fail to win the Stanley Cup. What would have happened had the Sabres not been stricken by an unfathomable string of misfortune? What if they would have had six healthy defensemen? Or had they converted numerous chances in Game Five?’
‘”My favorite new rule in the NHL cost us the frigging game,” an emotional Miller said in the RBC Center. “Stupidest thing ever. I don’t see how that should ever decide a game. Two guys forechecking a player, he goes to make a quick play in the bad ice in springtime, and it goes out of play. You’re telling me that’s a rule? They gotta wake up.”‘
'Disappointment. Frustration. Heartbreak.'
‘The gritty Sabres, carrying the hopes of western New York fans with them, lost to the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 in Game 7 of the NHL Eastern Conference finals Thursday, missing out on a chance to play in the Stanley Cup finals for the third time in the Buffalo team’s history.’