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It seems that Jason Botterill never got to the offer stage with Todd McLellan to quickly wrap up the Sabres coaching search. Whether their chats actually got to that point or not, McLellan's Buffalo-or-Los-Angeles dilemma gave another window into the Sabres' continued recruiting issues after years of losing hockey. If you're a coaching candidate or free agent, the Sabre…

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DENVER -- The Sabres played here Saturday under the watchful eyes of the Pepsi Center's massive scoreboard. Installed in 2013, it remains one of the behemoths of the league at 27 feet high by 48 feet long and was the first answer to Tampa Bay's 28-by-50 display that was erected in 2012 and has long been the league's gold standard. As the Sabres ponder a laundry list of …

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The Edmonton Oilers are still a longshot to sneak into the Stanley Cup playoffs. But they're saving face with a 5-1-1 burst and three straight wins to finish a nine-day road trip. Helps when Connor McDavid can put up five points in the last two games and make it look pretty effortless, too. McDavid has seemed frustrated at times this season. Who wouldn't be with what…

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Most of you have probably never found reason to go to Edmonton. Because of this gig, I have several times. Yes, it's cold. Really cold. But folks in Alberta are more than hospitable to visitors. It's always an interesting excursion. The West Edmonton Mall — with its water rides, amusement park and ice rink — is the largest and one of the wildest shopping experiences in …

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SAN JOSE – In baseball, all these numbers have become pretty mainstream. Think of how MLB's Statcast has changed how you watch and talk about the game. There's launch angle and exit velocity. Average pitch velocity and spin rate. Catch probability too. It can be right there for you during the action. Perhaps not so much on television, although MLB Network's recap shows …

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SAN JOSE — Jack Eichel took over the lead with an impressive lap in the Fastest Skater competition Friday night at the NHL's All-Star Skills Challenge, but there was one more skater left. It was two-time defending champion Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers. And McDavid, taken first overall and one pick ahead of Eichel in the 2015 NHL Draft, made it a three-peat. …

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The World Cup of Hockey won't happen in 2020 and that's a shame. There were plenty of skeptics 2 1/2 years ago who said it was simply a cash grab, and the merchandise and marketing end of things was admittedly a huge part of the 2016 tournament in Toronto. But more important was that it gave us great, memorable hockey in September, and that's rare. The '16 World Cup pro…

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So Ken Hitchcock says there's some fixing to be done with Connor McDavid. Things are going to get mighty interesting now in Edmonton. General Manager Peter Chiarelli's last desperation move to save his own job was to bring in Hitchcock last week after turfing Todd McLellan who, for the record, didn't give Milan Lucic a seven-year contract or fail to provide enough defen…

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Rick Dudley stood with a cup of coffee on the HarborCenter's upper concourse, while the NHL's best prospects worked out in tank tops and shorts on the arena floor below. Dudley is the quintessential hockey scout, a tireless bird dog who bought a house 15 years ago in Lewiston, although he worked for the Chicago Blackhawks, because he mapped out 34 amateur and pro arenas…

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Tim Murray landed Jack Eichel, made several moves that have proven dubious and got shown the door last April. His brother in tankitude out in Edmonton got Connor McDavid – the real tank prize in 2015 – and also made some terrible moves after reeling in his draft catch. Somehow, Peter Chiarelli survives and Oilers coach Todd McLellan is the one left twisting in the wind.…

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The ballot arrived Thursday via e-mail. It has to be returned before the first puck drops Wednesday night in the Stanley Cup playoffs. This corner has had a vote for the major NHL awards each season since 2007-08 but there has never been a dilemma like the one we see with this year's Hart Trophy balloting. You're supposed to vote for your top five. It's pretty easy to c…

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It will be a tournament going on halfway across the world, in the middle of their season and with games often being played in the dead of night in the United States or Canada. And while many NHL players remain disappointed they won't be playing in the Pyeongchang Olympics, they still think it will be hockey worth watching. Out of sight, out of mind? No way. "More tha…

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TAMPA, Fla. -- Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said he has not had a chance to talk with Sabres coach and former Predators assistant Phil Housley much this year because the teams have yet to meet. But Laviolette has been following the struggles of Housley's new team. "I know he's a great coach and he'll figure it out," Laviolette said. "They've won some games recently …

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EDMONTON, Alberta – The leading scorers for the Sabres and Oilers are Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid, respectively. It's not surprising to see them together. They've been linked since preparing to go in the top two of the 2015 NHL Draft. Also not surprising is Eichel continues to downplay talk of a rivalry. "I don't really know how many comparisons have continued to …

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A stalk of celery dipped into malaise is what 2017 Buffalo sports tasted like. The year was dominated by upheaval for the Bills and Sabres, with the biggest stories involving people being fired or traded. Record playoff slumps persist. The Bandits were terrible. The Bisons finished 21 games out of first place. None of the Big Four basketball programs made the NCAA To…