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Capping a Solid Off-Season, Regier Extended 2 Years
by November 30, 1999 @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Sep 20th 2008 5:28PM by Tom Luongo (author feed)
Filed under: Sabres, NHL General, NHL EconomicsHalf of the longest tenured GM/Coach tandem in the NHL is set to keep his share of that title as the Sabres announced today, along with the unveiling of the 3rd jerseys, that Darth Regier has had his contract extended by 2 seasons, keeping him in the role he’s had since 1997 through 2011. According to Managing Partner/Co-Owner Larry Quinn this extension was agreed to back in April, but was finalized only recently.

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Regier and his ability to steer this franchise through an ever changing landscape of the NHL and the macro-economy. If you listen to the press conference announcing this extension, it was dominated by majority owner Tom Golisano and his return to New York State politics with his P.A.C. ‘Responsible New York.’ His comments about the operating environment in Buffalo reveals to me just how much of a challenge he believes it is. Given that Golisano took a lot of heat publicly about his passivity towards past contract negotiations his appearance at this presser, I think, was a necessity.

While Regier and Quinn stood out front to take the brunt of the outrage from last summer’s happenings, Golisano remained silent and that silence infuriated a lot of people. It is the nature of things, regardless of whether you think it’s fair or not.

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NHL Season Preview: Buffalo Sabres
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Blogs )

Sep 22nd 2008 8:00AM by Tom Luongo (author feed)
Filed under: Sabres, Eastern, NHL General

Patrick Lalime, G (FA-CHI), Craig Rivet, D (Trade-SJS), Teppo Numminen, D (Return from Heart Surgery)
Joceyln Thibault, G (FA), Dmitri Kalinin, D (FA, NYR), Steve Bernier, RW (Trade, VAN)
Not a whole lot, frankly, unless one considers the number of players the supposedly stingy Sabres have under long-term contract now. That, coupled with the lack of tragedy during training camp (*fingers crossed*) should help lighten the mood in the room just a bit. But, honestly, that’s just the way this organization wants it (especially in comparison to last year’s off-season). With 20 of the 30 people who suited up for the Sabres in 07-08 having been drafted by the team, this is the textbook example of a team that promotes from within.

Recently extended GM Darth Regier believes in building via the draft and come what may that’s going to be how he does it. I’m sure nothing has made Regier happier than resolving the dual-affiliation with Rochester which has been hampering their ability to develop prospects properly. During this summer they finalized changing their AHL affiliation to Portland and retained the same staff that helped feed Anaheim a Stanley Cup.Continue Reading

Gaustad’s Surgery Leaves Hole on the Wing
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Blogs )

Sep 30th 2008 6:59PM by Tom Luongo (author feed)
Filed under: Sabres, Wild, NHL General, NHL InjuriesThe Buffalo Sabres announced today that C/LW Paul Gaustad had surgery to repair a ligment in his right thumb. Goose prevailing wisdom was that he injured it when he jumped Marc-Andre Bergeron after Bergeron submarined Danny Paille bruising Paille’s thigh in the process in Monday’s exhibition game against Minnesota. That’s apparently not the case according to Lindy Ruff.
“It’s not something he could play through,” head coach Lindy Ruff said. “It was something that came up…When we had the MRI yesterday, it was found he needed to have it operated on.”

It was originally thought that Gaustad injured his thumb while taking on Marc-Andre Bergeron after the Minnesota forward laid a hit on Daniel Paille. But according to Ruff, it wasn’t during the fight, but in the previous shift that Gaustad claims he hurt it.
Among the many issues surrounding the Sabres to start this season are their depth at center, on-ice leadership and toughness. Gaustad provides all of that and a whole lot more. This will be the first big test of this group in how they deal with him not being in the lineup. This is yet another example of why the NHL’s pre-season schedule this year is monumemtally stupid. 20 days of camp with 7.4 games per team

Where’s the training portion of training camp?

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Sabres Trim Roster by Eight Despite Key Injuries
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Blogs )

Oct 4th 2008 6:23AM by Tom Luongo (author feed)
Filed under: Sabres, NHL General, NHL FightsWell, Sabres fans the questions about who will and who will not be in the lineup on opening night are pretty much answered. WGR550 has reported that the Buffalo Sabres sent eight players back to their AHL affiliate in Portalnd on Friday. They are as follows: Chris Butler, Nathan Gerbe, Tim Kennedy, Mark Mancari, Matheiu Darche, Dylan Hunter, Marek Zagrapan and Mike Funk. Mancari and Darche have both been effectively waived. Here’s hoping Mancari doesn’t pull a Pominville for someone else. Not likely, honestly.

With the injuries to Paul Gaustad and Tim Connolly this team is now officially short at center depth. It looks like recent waiver-bait Matt Ellis will be manning the third pivot until one of those guys is ready to play. I doubt Connolly’s situation is serious at this point of one of Gerbe or Zagrapan would still be in Buffalo getting more experience for opening night. I’m sure there are a ton of people who would have liked to see Gerbe on the roster but, truthfully, the jump from college to the pros is a big leap and even a few months of living the grind of life in the ‘A’ is valuable preparation for the NHL. For the team it gives them time to sort out just who does and who does not what to be here come the deadline in February.

So, there will be just 2 scoring lines going out against the Wings on Sunday as a bottom 6 of MacArthur-Ellis-Kotalik / Peters-Mair-Kaleta is not going to scare any many goalies in this league. It also looks like they’ll be keeping 8 defensemen as Mike Weber is still with the big club. I wouldn’t be surprised if that changed by next Friday.Continue Reading

Malarchuk Cheats Death Again
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Blogs )

Oct 9th 2008 9:56PM by Eric McErlain (author feed)
Filed under: Blue Jackets, Bruins, Sabres, NHL Injuries, NHL Media Watch, NHL VideosFor most NHL fans, recalling the career of retired goalie Clint Malarchuk conjures some of the most horrifying images in the history of the game. Thanks to an errant skate blade, Malarchuk was slashed across the neck during a 1989 game between his Buffalo Sabres and the Boston Bruins. If not for the quick reaction of the team’s medical staff, Malarchuk surely would have died on the ice.

Calling the incident horrifying isn’t an understatement. According to reports, nine fans feinted after watching the accident, while another two suffered heart attacks at the Aud in Buffalo.

Now, 19 years later, Malarchuk has cheated death again, this time at his own hand. Here’s the AFP account:
Ex-National Hockey League goalie Clint Malarchuk was recovering in hospital from his second nightmarish accident in 19 years after accidently shooting himself in the face with a hunting rifle on Tuesday.
The 47-year-old Malarchuk was rushed to hospital here after he shot himself with a .22-calibre rifle at his residence, The Record-Courier newspaper reported Wednesday.
[…]
Malarchuk’s wife, Christy, told police her husband had been out hunting rabbits at the time of the shooting. She said the gun accidently discharged while he placed it on the ground between his legs.
Malarchuk currently serves as the goalie coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets. For a look at that incident again from 19 years ago, see the video after the jump.Continue Reading

How Many Centers does Buffalo Have Left?
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Oct 14th 2008 9:32PM by Tom Luongo (author feed)
Filed under: Sabres, NHL General, NHL InjuriesIt’s a good question, honestly, as the Sabres prepare for their 3rd game of the season with 23 year-old Clarke MacArthur (CMac or the LIl’ General to the faithful) filling in for “Broken” Jochen Hecht after Hecht underwent surgery today to repair a broken finger. This now marks the 3rd pivot that the Sabres have on the injured list to start this young season. Perennial question-mark Tim Connolly is out indefinitely with a fractured vertebrae while Paul Gaustad tore a ligament in his thumb beating up Marc-Andre Bergeron in the pre-season, which required surgery to repair and three to four weeks to heal. I’m not expecting Goose to return until the end of October.

MacArthur, a product of the WHL and on the bubble at the start of camp, will take over for Hecht between Jason Pominville and Daniel Paille on what is, nominally, Buffalo’s 2nd line. CMac is a Left-Wing by trade and training but has been pressed into this centerman role in the past.

The part many have to be wondering about is why they didn’t decide to bring up either Marek Zagrapan or Nathan Gerbe from Portland, as it would seem the obvious move. I have to think that with the game tomorrow night in New York and Friday’s home at The Bank that there’s no point since neither of them would see the ice against the 5-0-0 New York Rangers anyways. If the MacArthur experiment fails then Matt Ellis has more experience, if less skill, and neither Gerbe or Zags would help provide the disciplined positional/defensive game needed to play Top 6 minutes against the likes of Drury and/or Gomez.

The biggest issue is the loss of Hecht himself. He’s such a smart and capable hockey player in all three zones of the ice that it’s not possible to replace, espeically in the context of Connolly and Gaustad’s absence. The challenges of the 82 game season start early for many teams. With two impressive wins to start the season it will be interesting to see how this unit handles this setback.

Ta,

Brawl of the Week: Buffalo vs. The Isles
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Oct 14th 2008 11:03PM by Tom Luongo (author feed)
Filed under: Islanders, Sabres, NHL General, NHL FightsI’m not one to go ga-ga over a good hockey fight like my colleague Eric McErlain but yesterday’s brawl between the Sabres and the Islanders was a good one, and not just because of the complete righteous smack-job put on by the new captain in Buffalo, Craig Rivet (though that was kinda cool *grin*). No, this, unlike the lame PIM-fest which ended the Phoenix-Anaheim game [though I really felt for the poor linesman who got taken head-first into the boards] on Sunday was filled with a bunch of punches which landed and an object lesson of just how bad this current group on Long Island is.

Note the score, 4-0, they tried to start something after giving up two quick ones and couldn’t even manage to land a decent punch during the brawl they started. Bad at hockey plus bad at fighting equals the end of dignity for my favorite team in a former life.

The NHL should put their fans and the rest of us out of the misery of remembering those great Al Arbour led teams and fold this franchise before anymore damage is done. Then again, Mike MIlbury pretty much did that in the 90’s.

On second thought… bring on the beatdowns.

Ta,


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Paul Gaustad Paul Gaustad | #28 | C
Birth Date: 1982-02-03 Age: 26
Birth Place: Fargo, ND Width: 222 lbs.
Position: C Height: 6-5
Experience: 4 years
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