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Sidney Crosby on Ryan Miller: “It’s not something we talk about.”

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Ryan Miller and Sidney Crosby

Friends and rivals Ryan Miller and Sidney Crosby are linked by history. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

They’re linked together by two of the most iconic sporting moments of the past 10 years, but Sidney Crosby and Ryan Miller have never discussed Canada’s 2010 Golden Goal or the shootout winner in the inaugural Winter Classic … even though the two men have become unlikely offseason training partners.

“It’s not something I’ve ever really talked about with him,” Crosby said ahead of Wednesday night’s meeting between the Penguins and Sabres in Buffalo. “I’ve skated with him for a couple of summers now. He’s a good guy, works hard. He loves to play and loves to compete. As far as the situations we’ve been in, it’s not a hot discussion topic, but everybody tries to link those situations together.”

Don’t expect the topics to arise if the two happen to bump into each other in the hallways of the First Niagara Center tonight, either.

“It’s in the past,” Crosby said. “We’re days away from the Olympics in Russia. Maybe after our careers, it’s something we talk about. There are other things we both want to accomplish.”

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  • Published On Feb 05, 2014
  • Pat LaFontaine shows genius in hiring Tim Murray as Buffalo Sabres’ new GM

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    Pat LaFontaine of the Buffalo Sabres

    Hockey ops president Pat LaFontaine actually doubled up on what the Sabres need most. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    It doesn’t matter that it took Pat LaFontaine two months to name the new general manager of the Sabres, just so long as he found the right guy.

    In the end, he may have found two.

    Saying he’s “on a mission to bring the right people” to Buffalo,” LaFontaine announced today that he had hired Tim Murray as GM and, in a bit of a surprise move, Craig Patrick as a special assistant and advisor to the hockey ops department.

    Murray was a dark horse when this process started, generating little buzz compared to candidates like Brad Treliving, Jim Benning and Mike Futa. He’s hardly a household name, but Murray has paid his dues to get to this point. He first got his foot in the door as a scout with the Red Wings in 1993. A year later, he went to Florida where he became the director of amateur scouting for the Panthers. In 2002, he joined the Ducks as director of player personnel before moving on to the Rangers and, finally, the Senators. In Ottawa, he served as the assistant GM, as well as the GM of the Senators’ AHL farm club in Binghamton, N.Y. Murray has had his hands in almost every part of the hockey pie along the way, but his strength lies in talent evaluation — the core quality that LaFontaine was looking for during his search.

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  • Published On Jan 09, 2014
  • The NHL’s 13 biggest hits of 2013

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    Niklas Kronwall of the Detroit Red Wings Kronwalls Cory Conacher of the Ottawa Senators.

    The NHL still packed plenty of crunch despite growing concerns about player safety. (Icon SMI)

    By Michael Blinn

    Many fans worry that the NHL is slowly but steadily legislating physicality out of the game, and this year delivered plenty of fuel for debate about player safety in the form of  big, thundering checks that sent players end-over-end, tumbling into benches, and, on rare occasions, through the glass. Most of the hits were well within the rules, while others were cause for supplemental discipline as the NHL continued to place added emphasis on preventing head injuries. After sorting through nine-plus months of game highlights, we present  the 13 most bone-rattling hits of 2013:

    MORE: 13 best players | Goals | Games | Memes | Tweets | Weird moments | Most painful | Front office moves

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  • Published On Dec 24, 2013
  • Ryan Miller’s Dia de los Muertos goalie mask is killer!

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    By Allan Muir

    Ryan Miller has been possessed by the spirit of Dia de los Muertos.

    Check out this sneak peek of the mask he had specially designed to commemorate the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday. He’ll wear it on Saturday night as the Sabres host the Anaheim Ducks.

    What a beauty .  . . now we can’t wait to see what he does to celebrate St. Swithin’s Day!


  • Published On Nov 01, 2013
  • SHANABANNED! Sabres’ John Scott suspended seven games for head shot

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    By Allan Muir

    Brendan Shanahan took his sweet time deciding what to do with John Scott after the Sabres’ lunkhead nearly decapitated Boston’s Loui Eriksson more than a week ago.

    At least he used it wisely, deciding to suspend Scott a total of seven games.

    He made it clear that Eriksson was hit directly in the head and that Scott, who cut across the ice to take him out, had other plays to make that would have been effective and legal.

    “On this play,” Shanahan said, “the onus is entirely on Scott to ensure that Eriksson’s head is not the main point of contact.”

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  • Published On Oct 31, 2013
  • Lindy Ruff making emotional return to Buffalo as coach of Dallas Stars

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    Lindy Ruff went 571-432-78-84 in 15 seasons behind the Buffalo Sabres' bench. Since joining the Dallas Stars in the offseason, he's led the team to a 4-5-1 mark. (Marianne Helm/Getty Images)

    Lindy Ruff went 571-432-78-84 in 15 seasons behind the Buffalo Sabres’ bench. (Marianne Helm/Getty Images)

    By Michael Blinn

    Lindy Ruff is no stranger to Buffalo, but when he arrives at HSBC Arena on Monday, he’ll certainly be in a new place.

    Ruff was the Sabres’ coach for 15 seasons until he was fired after a 6-10-1 start to lockout-shortened 2013, after which he was brought in to helm the Dallas Stars. His career in Buffalo surely had its highs and lows: Ruff guided the Sabres to the franchise’s only Stanley Cup Final appearance (a controversial loss to Dallas in 1999), but his teams also finished out of the playoffs from 2001 to ’04, 2007 to ’09, and in 2012 and ’13. At the time of his firing, he was the longest-tenured coach in all of professional sports, and his 571 wins with Buffalo are the second most for a coach with just one team. Ruff is also one of only four coaches who have ever been behind the bench with a single franchise for more than 1,000 games.

    Now, he’ll get a view from the visitor’s side in his first visit to Buffalo since being relieved of his duties.

    “I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it,” Ruff said after the Stars’ shootout loss to Winnipeg on Saturday.

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  • Published On Oct 28, 2013
  • Buffalo Sabres trade Thomas Vanek to Islanders for Matt Moulson, draft picks

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    Thomas Vanek scored at least 20 goals in each of his eight NHL seasons, topping the 40-goal mark twice. (Mark LoMoglio/Icon SMI)

    Thomas Vanek scored at least 20 goals in each of his eight NHL seasons, topping 40 twice. (Mark LoMoglio/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    According to Newsday’s Arthur Staple, the Sabres have already turned into sellers this season, trading Thomas Vanek to the Islanders, getting back forward Matt Moulson, a 2014 first-round pick, and a 2015 second-rounder.

    First thoughts? I’m guessing the “Fire Darcy” chants have been silenced in Buffalo. A franchise that has been pilloried by its fans and the press since the start of the season for its utter ineptitude on the ice and in the front office just pulled off the sort of deal that will make the suffering yet to come so much more bearable.

    They may have sewn a C on his chest earlier this month, but Vanek wasn’t going to re-sign with the Sabres when he hit free agency this summer. Not a chance. It’s one of the worst-kept secrets in hockey that Vanek is pining for a return to Minnesota next season, the state where he played his college hockey and where his good buddy, and former teammate, Jason Pominville currently skates. So removing the distraction and swapping him out for multiple assets makes sense.

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  • Published On Oct 27, 2013
  • Buffalo Sabres’ John Scott: “I don’t want to be a dirty player.”

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    By Allan Muir

    John Scott showed up for practice today in Buffalo, looking to hone the skills that have allowed him to score one goal in 187 career games and skate less than five minutes a night for the league’s worst team.

    It’s probably the last official team activity he’ll take part in for a while after he delivered a vicious cheap shot to the head of Boston forward Loui Eriksson Wednesday night. And with the threat of a lengthy suspension looming, Scott wanted to take the opportunity to get his woeful side of the story out through the local media.

    Amazingly, he seemed sincerely surprised to see how he is being characterized in the hockey world.

    GALLERY: NHL’s dirtiest players

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  • Published On Oct 24, 2013
  • Video: John Scott’s vicious cheap shot on Loui Eriksson leaves Bruins steaming

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    By Allan Muir

    John Scott is the ultimate grocery stick. His sole purpose in the league is to intimidate the opposition, but it’s hard to ask him to perform even that small service because he’s a complete liability in every other way.

    He’s a wasted sweater on a Buffalo team that could desperately use an infusion of skill to try to salvage a season that’s quickly slipping away.

    The good news for Sabres fans is that his roster spot is about to open up. Hopefully for a very long time.

    GALLERY: NHL’s dirtiest players

    Scott is going to be banished for several games after delivering a vicious elbow to the head of Boston’s Loui Eriksson early in the third period of tonight’s 5-2 win for the Bruins.

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  • Published On Oct 23, 2013
  • Downtrodden Sabres lighten things up with rookie dance-off at practice

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    Rookie Zemgus Girgensons showed the Buffalo Sabres that he can back it up with the best of them.

    Rookie Zemgus Girgensons showed the Sabres that he can back it up with the best of them. (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

    By Michael Blinn

    To say things have been rough up in Buffalo this season is a drastic understatement.

    The Sabres are 1-7-1, winless at home, and tied for last in the NHL with just 11 goals and a -13 goal differential. New trade rumors are swirling daily around a team that already looks like it’s going to be a seller long before the trade deadline on March 5, 2014.

    It hasn’t been easy for coach Ron Rolston in his first full season behind the bench after taking over for Lindy Ruff, who was fired mid-way through 2012-13, but give the man credit: he’s willing to try just about anything.

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  • Published On Oct 18, 2013


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