Buffalo Sabres

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Avs ink former first-rounder Hishon to one-year deal

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Colorado has re-upped with RFA forward Joey Hishon — the club’s first-round pick (17th overall) in 2010 — to a one-year deal.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Hishon, 23, made his NHL debut during the ’13-14 playoffs and his regular-season debut last year, scoring two points in 13 games. The former OHL Owen Sound standout has struggled mightily with health issues over the last few years — most notably, a concussion suffered with the Attack that sidelined him for 22 months, delaying the start of his pro career in the AHL.

Last season Hishon suffered both neck and elbow injuries, which limited him to the aforementioned 13 games.

It’ll be interesting to see where Hishon fits next season. The Avs replaced outgoing center Ryan O’Reilly with ex-Bruin Carl Soderberg, so it could be a struggle for Hishon to find minutes down the middle. If Colorado contemplates a move to the wing, Hishon will have a pair of new faces challenging for playing time: Mikhail Grigorenko, acquired in the O’Reilly trade, and Blake Comeau, who was signed in free agency.

NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16

Henrik Lundqvist, Jonathan Toews, Ryan McDonagh
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They’ve just announced the big list of 105 regular-season NHL games that NBC/NBCSN will be broadcasting in 2015-16.

It all kicks off with an Oct. 7 doubleheader on NBCSN, with the Rangers visiting the Blackhawks followed by the Kings hosting the Sharks.

Games on NBC start with the Thanksgiving Showdown on Friday, Nov. 27, between the Rangers and Bruins.

Other notables include the Winter Classic between the Bruins and Habs on Jan. 1, as well as the only visit Connor McDavid’s Oilers will make to Buffalo to take on Jack Eichel’s Sabres on March 1.

The press release has all the information.

Here’s the full list of games:

Wed., Oct. 7 N.Y. Rangers Chicago NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 7 San Jose Los Angeles NBCSN 10 p.m.
Thur., Oct. 8 Minnesota Colorado NBCSN 9 p.m.
Tues., Oct. 13 Tampa Bay Detroit NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 14 Chicago Philadelphia NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Oct. 20 Dallas Philadelphia NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 21 Philadelphia Boston NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Oct. 27 Tampa Bay St. Louis NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 28 Pittsburgh Washington NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 28 Nashville San Jose NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Tues., Nov. 3 Los Angeles St. Louis NBCSN 8:30 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 4 St. Louis Chicago NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Nov. 10 Buffalo Tampa Bay NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 11 Montreal Pittsburgh NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tues., Nov. 17 Minnesota Pittsburgh NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 18 Washington Detroit NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 25 Philadelphia N.Y. Islanders NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 25 Chicago San Jose NBCSN 10 p.m.
Fri., Nov 27 N.Y. Rangers Boston NBC 1 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 27 Chicago Anaheim NBCSN 5 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 1 Minnesota Chicago NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 1 Pittsburgh San Jose NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 2 N.Y. Rangers N.Y. Islanders NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 8 Detroit Washington NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 9 Boston Montreal NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 9 Pittsburgh Colorado NBCSN 10 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 15 Colorado Chicago NBCSN 8:30 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 16 Pittsburgh Boston NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 22 Montreal Minnesota NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 22 San Jose Los Angeles NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 29 Nashville St. Louis NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 30 N.Y. Rangers Tampa Bay NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 30 Philadelphia San Jose NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 1 Montreal Boston NBC 1 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 4 Los Angeles Colorado NBCSN 9 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 5 Montreal Philadelphia NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 6 Pittsburgh Chicago NBCSN 8 p.m.
Thur., Jan. 7 Philadelphia Minnesota NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 10 New Jersey Minnesota NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 12 Tampa Bay Colorado NBCSN 9 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 13 Boston Philadelphia NBCSN 8 p.m.
Thur., Jan. 14 Chicago Montreal NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 17 Philadelphia Detroit NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 18 Pittsburgh St. Louis NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 19 Chicago Nashville NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 20 St. Louis Detroit NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 20 Minnesota Anaheim NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 24 Pittsburgh Washington NBC 12:30 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 25 Buffalo N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tues., Jan 26 Chicago Carolina NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tues., Jan 26 Colorado San Jose NBCSN 10 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 27 Philadelphia Washington NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 27 Colorado Los Angeles NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 2 Florida Washington NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 3 Detroit Tampa Bay NBCSN 8 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 4 N.Y. Islanders Washington NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 4 Anaheim Los Angeles NBCSN 10 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 7 Philadelphia Washington NBC 12 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 9 Dallas Minnesota NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 10 N.Y. Rangers Pittsburgh NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 14 Boston Detroit NBC 3 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 14 Philadelphia N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 16 Dallas St. Louis NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 17 Chicago N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 8 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 18 Detroit Pittsburgh NBCSN 7 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 21 Pittsburgh Buffalo NBC 12:30 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 21 Chicago Minnesota NBC 3:30 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 21 Detroit N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 7 p.m.
Mon., Feb. 22 San Jose St. Louis NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 23 Columbus Detroit NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 24 Pittsburgh Boston NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 24 San Jose Colorado NBCSN 10 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 25 Nashville Chicago NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 27 Detroit Colorado NBC 8 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 28 Washington Chicago NBC 12:30 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 28 Tampa Bay Boston NBCSN 6:30 p.m.
Sun., Feb 28 Los Angeles Anaheim NBCSN 9 p.m.
Tues., March 1 Edmonton Buffalo NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., March 2 Chicago Detroit NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sun., March 6 St. Louis Minnesota NBCSN 8 p.m.
Mon., March 7 Arizona Colorado NBCSN 9 p.m.
Tues., March 8 Pittsburgh N.Y. Islanders NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., March 9 Chicago St. Louis NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sun., March 13 Pittsburgh N.Y. Rangers NBC 12:30 p.m.
Sun., March 13 Toronto Detroit NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Mon., March 14 Los Angeles Chicago NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., March 15 Detroit Philadelphia NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tues., March 15 Boston San Jose NBCSN 10 p.m.
Wed., March 16 Philadelphia Chicago NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sun., March 20 Washington Pittsburgh NBCSN 6 p.m.
Sun., March 20 Minnesota Chicago NBCSN 8:30 p.m.
Mon., March 21 Philadelphia N.Y. Islanders NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tues., March 22 Los Angeles Minnesota NBCSN 8:30 p.m.
Wed., March 23 Boston N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sun., March 27 N.Y. Rangers Pittsburgh NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Mon., March 28 Buffalo Detroit NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Mon., March 28 Los Angeles San Jose NBCSN 10 p.m.
Tues., March 29 Colorado St. Louis NBCSN 8:30 p.m.
Wed., March 30 Washington Philadelphia NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sun., April 3 Boston Chicago NBC 12:30 p.m.
Sun., April 3 St. Louis Colorado NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., April 5 Tampa Bay N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., April 6 Philadelphia Detroit NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sat., April 9 Pittsburgh Philadelphia NBC 3 p.m.
Sat., April 9 TBD TBD NBCSN TBD

Gionta: Sabres’ offseason ‘excites guys in the locker room’

Andrej Meszaros, Rasmus Ristolainen, Brian Gionta
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The biggest winners of the Buffalo Sabres’ summer of resounding improvements might just be the players who suffered through the 2014-15 season (not to mention the fans).

Veteran winger Brian Gionta probably isn’t very familiar with seasons like that, so it makes sense that he seemed excited about the additions of Dan Byslma, Ryan O’Reilly, Jack Eichel, Robin Lehner and so on. He praised Sabres GM Tim Murray’s work to USA Today on Friday.

“Look at the moves he’s been able to make,” Gionta said. “You can say you want a better team, you want to bring in better players, but for him to actually pull that off and make the moves he did, it shows that he means business. That excites guys in the locker room.”

Back when he was hired by the team in May, Bylsma said that he sees a bright future for the team, as the Buffalo News reported. Even so, one would guess that Bylsma, Gionta and possibly even Murray are all a little surprised by just how much progress the Sabres have made in mere months.

(They certainly don’t seem out of place on “most improved teams” lists like this one by NHL.com.)

Naturally, it’s not that tough to improve upon the disaster that has been the Sabres for the past two seasons – the phrase “historically bad” came up uncomfortably often – but it remains to be seen how much these moves will translate into results.

It might take some time, yet it’s also plausible that the rebuild will be more rapid than expected, a notion that isn’t lost on veterans such as Gionta.

(H/T to The Score.)

Will Carolina fill defensive openings on UFA, trade markets?

Justin Faulk
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The Carolina Hurricanes have just four defensemen signed with at least 100 games worth of NHL experience. That makes their blueline a major question mark going into training camp, but even as we near the end of July, there are still plenty of options out there for teams looking to bolster their defense.

For example, Christian Ehrhoff and Cody Franson are both still available on the open market. There’s also presumably cheaper options out there like Andrej Meszaros and Jan Hejda.

“There’s been some dialogue with some guys, but we’re still sitting and waiting to see where the numbers go,” Hurricanes GM Ron Francis told the News & Observer. “The guys we’ve talked about are not in a range we’d be comfortable with yet, so we’re keeping an eye on it. I’m not in a hurry to jump in.”

Francis added that as more arbitration eligible players either get judgments or otherwise sign, more players might be made available. Additionally, Jeff Skinner is still reportedly on the block, so Carolina might end up making a more substantial trade before the summer is done.

All that being said, Francis sees some appeal in maintaining the status quo.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to have a spot open going into camp,” Francis said. “It sends a good message to our younger guys.”

With James Wisniewski, Justin Faulk, John-Michael Liles, and Ron Hainsey all presumably locks to make the roster, that would leave 2015 fifth overall pick Noah Hanifin, Ryan Murphy, Danny Biega, Michal Jordan, Rasmus Rissanen, and Haydn Fleury to compete for the final three openings.

Sabres wrap up RFA signings by inking D’Amigo

New Jersey Devils v Buffalo Sabres
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Perhaps the Buffalo Sabres’ busy front office can finally take a vacation, as the team signed its last remaining RFA Jerry D’Amigo to a one-year, two-way deal on Thursday.

The 24-year-old became a member of the Sabres’ organization thanks to a trade that also involved Luke Adam.

He played in nine games for Buffalo in 2014-15, failing to score a point. He also played in 22 contests for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2013-14, collecting his only career NHL points (one goal, two assists).

Toronto selected D’Amigo with the 158th pick of the 2009 NHL Draft. For many, his most memorable contributions have come at the international level for the U.S. so far.

source: Getty Images
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