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2016 NHL Entry Draft – First Round

Here are the first 30 selections in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft


1 – TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS – Auston Matthews (ZSC Lions, NLA)
2 – WINNIPEG JETS – Patrik Laine (Tappara, SM-Liiga)
3 – COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS – Pierre-Luc Dubois (Cape Breton, QMJHL)
4 – EDMONTON OILERS – Jesse Pulijujarvi (Karpat, SM-Liiga)
5 – VANCOUVER CANUCKS – Olli Juolevi (London, OHL)
6 – CALGARY FLAMES – Matthew Tkachuk (London, OHL)
7 – ARIZONA COYOTES – Clayton Keller (US NDTP, USHL)
8 – BUFFALO SABRES – Alexander Nylander (Mississauga, OHL)
9 – MONTREAL CANADIENS – Mikhail Sergachev (Windsor, OHL)
10 – COLORADO AVALANCHE – Tyson Jost (Pentiction, BCHL)
11 – OTTAWA SENATORS – Logan Brown (Windsor, OHL) – (from New Jersey) (Traded Pk 12 ’16 to NJ for Pk 11 ’16, Pk 80 ’16)
12 – NEW JERSEY DEVILS – Michael McLeod (Mississauga, OHL) – (from Ottawa) (Traded Pk 11 ’16, Pk 80 ’16 to OTT for Pk 12 ’16)
13 – CAROLINA HURRICANES – Jake Bean (Calgary, WHL)
14 – BOSTON BRUINS – Charles McAvoy (Boston, NCAA H-East)
15 – MINNESOTA WILD – Luke Kunin (Wisconsin, NCAA Big 10)
16 – ARIZONA COYOTES – Jakob Chychrun (Sarnia, OHL) – (from Detroit) (Traded Joe Vitale, Pk 53 ’16, Pk 20 ’16 to DET for Pavel Datsyuk, Pk 16 ’16)
17 – NASHVILLE PREDATORS – Dante Fabbro (Pentiction, BCHL)
18 – WINNIPEG JETS – Logan Stanley (Windsor, OHL) – (from Philadelphia) (Traded Pk 22 ’16 and Pk 36 ’16 to PHI for Pk 18 ’16 and Pk 79 ’16)
19 – NEW YORK ISLANDERS – Kieffer Bellows (US NDTP, USHL)
20 – DETROIT RED WINGS – Dennis Cholowski (Chilliwack, BCHL) (from Arizona) (Traded Pavel Datsyuk, Pk 16 ’16 to ARZ for Joe Vitale, Pk 53 ’16, Pk 20 ’16)
21 – CAROLINA HURRICANES – Julien Gauthier (Val-d’Or, QMJHL)
22 – PHILADELPHIA FLYERS – German Rubtsov (RUS U18, MHL) – (from Winnipeg) (Traded Pk 18 ’16 and Pk 79 ’16 to WPG for Pk 22 ’16, Pk 36 ’16)
23 – FLORIDA PANTHERS – Henrik Borgstrom (HIFK Jr., FIN-Jr.)
24 – ANAHEIM DUCKS – Max Jones (London, OHL)
25 – DALLAS STARS – Riley Tufte (Fargo Force, USHL)
26 – ST. LOUIS BLUES – Tage Thompson (U-CONN, NCAA H-East) (from Washington) (Traded Pk 28 ’16 to STL for Pk 26 ’16, Pk 87 ’16)
27 – TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING – Brett Howden (Moosejaw, WHL)
28 – WASHINGTON CAPITALS – Lucas Johansen (Kelowna, WHL) (from St. Louis) (Traded Pk 26 ’16 to WSH for Pk 28 ’16, Pk 87 ’16)
29 – BOSTON BRUINS – Trent Frederic (USA U18, USHL)
30 – ANAHEIM DUCKS – Sam Steel, (Regina, WHL)

Buffalo Sabres

2015 NHL Entry Draft – Buffalo Sabres

INS: Jack Eichel (Pick 2, Boston College, H.EAST), Brendan Guhle (Pick 51, Prince Albert, WHL), William Borgen (Pick 92, Moorhead, HIGH-MN), Devante Stephens (Pick 122, Kelowna, WHL), Giorgio Estephan (Pick 152, Lethbridge, WHL), Ivan Chukarov (Pick 182, Minnesota Wilderness, NAHL), Robin Lehner (Ottawa Senators), David Legwand (Ottawa Senators), Ryan O’Reilly (Colorado Avalanche), Jamie McGinn (Colorado Avalanche)

OUTS: Nikita Zadorov (Colorado Avalanche), Mikhail Grigorenko (Colorado Avalanche), J.T. Compher (Colorado Avalanche)

Buffalo selects Jack Eichel. Those four words, was all Tim Murray needed, to draft the best consolation prize in the National Hockey League. Add to that an actual starting goaltender in Robin Lehner, experienced depth in the middle with Legwand and of course, Ryan O’Reilly, whom Colorado wanted to trade away. Buffalo are more than happy to add him to the potential treasure trove of centres (Ennis, Girgensons, Eichel, Sam Reinhart). Oh, and some winger named Evander Kane. One of the big winners of the draft.


Buffalo Sabres

2014 NHL Entry Draft – Buffalo Sabres

These are the players drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round – Pick – Player Chosen – Junior/Club/College Team

ROUND 1 – PICK 2 – Sam Reinhart – Kootenay (WHL)
ROUND 2 – PICK 31 – Brendan Lemieux – Barrie (OHL)
ROUND 2 – PICK 44 – Eric Cornel – Peterborough (OHL)
ROUND 2 – PICK 49 – Vaclav Karabacek – Gatineau (QMJHL)
ROUND 3 – PICK 61 – Jonas Johansson – Brynas Jr. (SWE-JR.)
ROUND 3 – PICK 74 – Brycen Martin – Swift Current (WHL)
ROUND 5 – PICK 121 – Maxwell Willman – Williston-North Hampton (HIGH-MA)
ROUND 6 – PICK 151 – Christopher Brown – Cranbrook Kingswood (HIGH-MI)
ROUND 7 – PICK 181 – Victor Olofsson – Modo Jr. (SWE-JR.)

Buffalo Sabres

Na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye. And good riddance.

At approximately 10:30 AM Eastern this morning, Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula organized what he called a “major press conference.”  Had I known this then, I’d have been sitting in this chair watching it instead of sleeping.

Around noon, I woke up, and I rolled over to grab my phone to see what time it was.  I had notifications from both the Buffalo Sabres and the NHL’s official apps.  The Sabres notification read that Pat LaFontaine was named President of Hockey Operations, and that Ted Nolan would be serving as interim head coach.  Unfortunately, the app didn’t have the story, just the notification.  The NHL app notification read pretty much the same way, but the article was there to read.

And read I did.

Mr. Pegula finally told long-time Sabres GM Darcy Regier to pack up and go, his services no longer necessary.  “And take your shitty coach with you,” I’d like to imagine that the second half of that conversation went.  Pegula hired two men who he knew the fans would immediately take to – former Sabres captain Pat LaFontaine, and former Sabres coach Ted Nolan.

Nolan has had a history of success in his short time at what is now known as the First Niagara Center, before leaving in 1997.  A spat with former Sabres star goaltender Dominik Hasek is long rumored to be the main reason Nolan left the organization despite being named the 1997 Jack Adams Award winner for Coach of the Year.

LaFontaine is best remembered by Sabres fans as one of our greatest players of all time.  Rick Jeanneret’s famous calls of “Pat La-la-la-la-la-la-LaFontaine” are ingrained in our memories so very clearly.  He will certainly be welcomed back with open arms to the organization.

While it remains to be seen whether this will improve the on-ice product (and I certainly don’t expect it to, at least not immediately), it’s a welcome boost of morale to me as a Sabres fan, and I’m sure, based on the buzz on Facebook and Twitter about the news, that extends to a majority of the fanbase as well.  #LetsGoBuffalo.

Buffalo Sabres, That Damn Hockey Blog

That Damn Hockey Blog: Tell The Swords This Isn’t The AHL

Buffalo, Buffalo, Buffalo. Can someone explain to me just what their goals are for this season? Are they trying to make the playoffs? Are they re-building? I can’t tell.

Nobody knows what Tyler Myers is going to be, after being drafted as a potential Chara 2.0, and winning the Calder Trophy for the 2009-10 season. But since then, his points per season has decreased, and nobody really know what he’ll turn into as a hockey player. He was drafted 12th overall in 2008, before players such as Erik Karlsson (15th) and Jordan Eberle (22nd), so the expectation to push to the next level is there, it’s all up to Myers to get there, and at 23, he and Ristolainen look to be the future defense.

But the big news is revolving around Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller. Both have contracts up at the end of this season, and the Sabres are apparently looking to ship them both off before the trade deadline. Vanek is 29 and Miller is 33, but both have contract in excess on 6 million, with Vanek’s contract over 7 million. If the Sabres are ‘re-building’, then they need to dump the pair of them for youth, which is a lot easier said than done, considering there are only 6 teams which have more cap space available than the Sabres, so it seems they need to get some cap in return.

In Miller’s case, he has 8 teams on his no-trade list, which includes the Edmonton Oilers, who were linked to both he and Vanek in a deal that could send Nail Yakupov to Buffalo, and even though the Oilers have more cap space than the Sabres, it isn’t by much, so the Oilers would probably have to send Ales Hemsky and his $5mil contract to Buffalo, which I’m sure they wouldn’t mind considering Hemsky’s contract is also up at the end of this season.

The problem with dealing Miller however, and not getting a goaltender in return, means that the Sabres are left with Jhonas Enroth and Matt Hackett as their goalies. Hackett was picked up from the Wild in the Jason Pominville trade, whereas Enroth, along with Jacob Markstrom, Henrik Lundqvist and Jonas Gustafsson, are in contention to represent Team Sweden as their goalie core for the Sochi Olympics. Hackett is only 20, and hasn’t really proven anything, but Enroth is 25, and could be a starting goalie in the National Hockey League, but that can only be questionable at best, leaving the Sabres with a rapidly declining Ryan Miller.

Maybe the Sabres need to re-sign Miller, or make a massive play for a goaltender before the trade deadline or in the off-season. Otherwise, unless Enroth or Hackett can set up, it won’t matter who else they have in their roster, because if the goalie can’t stop goals, then they’re always going to be in contention for the number one pick come draft time.

I have a Twitter for some unknown reason, it’s @ThatDamnDoubleC.  Also, go visit, as we’re like brothers or something. You like the little icon in the top left corner where the title of this blog is? I found that here.

Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs

Buffalo Sabres/Toronto Maple Leafs pre-season brawl

Rivalries.  You know you’re going to have an intense game when two teams who genuinely don’t like each other face off.

The Sabres and the Maple Leafs are rivals.  Only about a 90 minute drive separate First Niagara Center from Air Canada Center, and there are generally just as many Leafs fans at the FNC when the teams play each other there as there are Sabres fans.  So, you expect a fierce game when these two teams meet – but you generally don’t expect it in a pre-season game.

Jaime Devane and Corey Tropp decided to drop the gloves in the third period of Sunday night’s exhibition, which led to Tropp smashing the back of his head against the ice.  The Sabres sent out enforcer John Scott on the next play, who threatened to “jump” Phil Kessel – at least, that’s what Kessel says.

Here’s the video, I’ll update you on any discipline handed down by the NHL if I hear anything.

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Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo Sabres reveal new third jerseys

Ah, the Buffalo Sabres.  My beloved home team, and a team who are considered by many to have some of the best primary uniforms in the sport at the moment.  That hasn’t always been the case.  The Sabres came into the league in 1970 wearing their classic uniforms that the current design are based on:

They would keep this basic look with minor tweaks (a darker shade of blue, shoulder patches, and player names on the back) throughout the first 25 years of the franchise, when they went in a drastic new direction, changing the classic blue and gold for red, white, silver and black.

Let’s face it.  The “goat head” jerseys weren’t hated – in fact, I’d be hard pressed to name a Sabres fan who doesn’t own at least one of the three jerseys pictured above.  And yes, I’d venture to say that many of them had Miroslav Satan’s name and number emblazoned on theirs.  But in 2006, the fans were clamoring for a return to the blue and gold era of Sabres past.  Have you ever heard the phrase, “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it?”

This is what we got.  A logo that was instantly reviled, compared to a banana slug or a “Donald Trump hairpiece,” affectionately known as the “Buffa-Slug.”  The logo was terrible, the jerseys were far from traditional, yet these were the hottest selling jerseys in the National Hockey League for a brief period of time.  It didn’t hurt that, on the backs of Chris Drury and Daniel Briere, the Sabres were also one of the hottest teams in the league when that happened.

Despite shelling out their hard earned money for the hated “slug,” (and believe me, I have one of these in my closet too), the fans wanted it gone.  Sites such as Sabres Not Slugs appeared, online petitions were passed around, and other designers were coming up with their own ideas for what the next set of Sabres uniforms should look like.  Eventually, a third jersey, an updated version of the classic Sabres uniform, was created to compliment the Slug uniforms, and eventually became the new primary home, along with a brand new road jersey in the same style in 2010.

The third jersey pictured here was used for the 40th anniversary season.

In recent weeks, the Sabres were posting teaser pictures of a new third jersey on their twitter page.  Forward Steve Ott seemed to be trying to get them to speed up the reveal, to no avail.  Early Wednesday morning, the Sabres released another teaser picture on Twitter, seemingly meant to rile up fans who wanted to see the full uniform unveiled just as much as Steve Ott seemed to.

Ott responded to this with the following tweet:

He even went as far as to threaten to unveil it himself if the team refused:

The team called his bluff, saying that the only two jerseys were under lock and key at “Fort Knox,” which is a nickname bestowed upon the First Niagara Center in honor of former Sabres owner Seymour Knox III.  Ott, however, made good on his promise only moments later.

My initial reaction to this jersey was, “when did the Sabres start playing soccer?”  As I see this image floating around more and more, I start to think about the fact that it’s unique in that the front and back are two different colors.  I actually don’t hate this jersey, though a lot of people seem to.  I doubt we’ll see this for more than two or three seasons, however.  This is a very vocal fanbase and we get what we want.  Except a Stanley Cup.

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The Flock Presents-The NHL After Draft Special

On Sunday evening, members of the facebook group, “The Flock” joined forces to discuss the fallout from the 2013 NHL entry draft. We discussed the Seth Jones situation, the Vancouver bombshell, and the future, and so forth. Needless to say, it was a “happening.” With Free Agency Frenzy on our doorstep, this is a must listen for the for the fan’s, by the fan’s perspective on the future of the NHL.


Buffalo Sabres

2013 NHL Entry Draft – Buffalo Sabres

Here is a look at whom the Buffalo Sabres drafted in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, and also any trades they may have partaken in during the draft.

Round – Pick – Player Chosen (position in brackets) – Nationality – Junior/Club/College Team

1 – 8 – Rasmus Ristolainen (D) – Finland – TPS Turku (SM-liiga)
1 – 16 – Nikita Zadorov (D) – Russia – London Knights (OHL)
2 – 35 – J.T. Compher (LW) – United States – USA U-18 (USHL)
2 – 38 – Connor Hurley (C) – United States – Edina High (USHS)
2 – 52 – Justin Bailey (RW) – United States – Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
3 – 69 – Nicholas Baptiste (RW) – Canada – Sudbury Wolves (OHL)
5 – 129 – Calvin Petersen (G) – United States – Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)
5 – 130 – Gustav Possler (RW) – Sweden – MODO (SHL)
5 – 143 – Anthony Florentino (D) – United States – South Kent Prep. (USHS)
6 – 159 – Sean Malone (C) – United States – USA U-18 (USHL)
7 – 189 – Eric Locke (C) – United States – Saginaw Spirit (OHL)


Buffalo Sabres acquire Jamie McBain (D) and 2nd Rd pick (2013) from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Andrej Sekera (D)

Buffalo Sabres

Former Buffalo Sabre Clint Malarchuk – 30 for 30 Short Film

This morning I decided to check my e-mail after a couple of days, and to my surprise, I had an e-mail from Jennifer Cingari at ESPN.  The e-mail contained the press release for their latest 30 for 30 Short Film, “Cutthroat.”  The appropriately titled film is about former Buffalo Sabres goaltender Clint Malarchuk, who had his throat cut by a skate during a March 22, 1989 game against the St. Louis Blues.  This is an image ingrained in the hockey culture of my hometown of Buffalo, an image intensified as Richard Zednik, then of the Florida Panthers, suffered a similar injury at the HSBC Arena (now First Niagara Center), just across the street from where Malarchuk’s injury occurred.  This is a very powerful film, as the ESPN 30 for 30 series tends to be, and it really is a must watch, regardless of what team you root for.

The next installment of ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 Shorts series, Cutthroat, debuts today on The short film focuses on former Buffalo Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk and his emotional and physical recovery from one of the most gruesome injuries in sports history.

Clint Malarchuk was known as the “Cowboy Goalie.” He grew up riding horses but suffered from severe childhood OCD, which he believes helped him focus on his hockey training. During a game against the St. Louis Blues, an opposing player’s skate blade severed Malarchuk’s carotid artery, causing one of the most shocking scenes to ever take place in a hockey rink. From award-winning director Steven Cantor, Cutthroat chronicles Malarchuk’s injury, his remarkable two-week physical recovery and his grueling emotional and mental journey, which spans twenty years and included a six-month stay in a mental hospital for long overdue PTSD treatment.

ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 Shorts series is artfully crafted by Blue Moon. Previous films from the series include Arnold’s Blueprint, Ali: The Mission, and The Irrelevant Giant, among others. All can be viewed on