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LETHBRIDGE, Alberta – The Dog Days of December absolutely exist for junior hockey stars. And they can be tough ones. It's quite the dilemma. Keep grinding away through long bus rides across the prairies while counting down the days to training camp for the World Junior Championship, a tournament many of them have been aiming for their entire young lives. That's where…

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The party line as the SS Pegula runs aground for another season is this isn't last year. That team that shot to the top of the NHL standings and then fell back down the hill uncontrollably? It was much different than this one. Sure could have fooled me. The Sabres ended October No. 1 in the NHL's overall standing. Doesn't seem possible now that they're just six point…

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Travis Yost has been involved in the world of hockey analytics for a decade and is part of TSN's Hockey Analytics team. Prior to joining TSN, Yost was a contributor at the Ottawa Citizen, the Sporting News and NHL Numbers, and he has been a consultant for an NHL franchise. He will be contributing breakdowns on the Buffalo Sabres for The Buffalo News this season. Follow Yos…

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The three-game West Coast road trip began with a performance that could have shaken the Buffalo Sabres. They blew a two-goal lead and appeared to be physically worn down by the Anaheim Ducks last Wednesday in Honda Center. There was no panic in the Sabres' dressing room afterward, though. They didn't seem flustered during a difficult defensive performance the following …

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The first five days of training camp are over. Buffalo Sabres coach Ralph Krueger and his coaching staff planned to spend Wednesday analyzing their first two preseason games. The film session provided them with a better idea of how they can better prepare the players to properly execute in all three zones. As important, the preseason games were Krueger's first opportuni…

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The countdown is on to Ralph Krueger's first training camp as an NHL head coach. The Buffalo Sabres' new bench boss, remember, has been a head man for only one year in the league but that 2013 season with the Edmonton Oilers was the lockout season. There was essentially no training camp during the chaotic January, just a couple of practices to get ready for the opening gam…

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It's normally quiet in the NHL in August. Many GMs are at their Canadian cottages and so are the media types north of the border who specialize in transactional rumors. But the sense around the game is an avalanche of news is coming. What makes this summer unusual is the cadre of restricted free agents who remain unsigned and are looking for big money out of their entry…

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A solution to the Buffalo Sabres' salary-cap situation might not come anytime soon. General Manager Jason Botterill said Wednesday on WGR Radio's "The Instigators" program that he is not in a rush to make a trade to clear cap space. According to CapFriendly.com, the Sabres are currently $1.1 million over the salary-cap ceiling after signing restricted free agents Linus …

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The big trade we have all been waiting for has yet to occur. Buffalo Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill has built a surplus of right-shot defensemen this offseason, intensifying the trade speculation surrounding Rasmus Ristolainen. Dealing Ristolainen could help the Sabres acquire a top-six forward, but is there a chance he could return? Let's start there with th…

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It's hard to imagine an NHL general manager having a worse spring than Jason Botterill. He's hard at work trying to redeem himself and the early returns of summer are good. We're at the point now where I can't wait for his next move. This is a fascinating process to watch play out. The Big One has to be coming. And you're starting to realize it may not be simply R…

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If you were waiting for the Buffalo Sabres to make a splash as NHL free agency opened Monday, you were sorely disappointed. This is how you had to figure it was going to go. It seems clear General Manager Jason Botterill is going to build this roster methodically, through the draft and some well-placed trades. Big money for big names isn't going to be the way this organ…

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The suspicion you had Friday night when the Sabres acquired defenseman Colin Miller from Vegas was that the move would hasten Rasmus Ristolainen's departure. Without remotely confirming that Saturday, it sure seemed like General Manager Jason Botterill confirmed exactly that. Botterill was using plenty of buzzwords to describe the trade. It give the Sabres "options" on …

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VANCOUVER – There are a lot of reasons the job of an NHL general manager is a tough one. Here's the latest one to add to the list: How do you know what kind of team to build these days? It sure seemed like the NHL was going back to a speed game when the Pittsburgh Penguins won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017. Last year's Washington-Vegas Cup final certainly h…

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VANCOUVER -- Jason Botterill did not plan on staying in Vancouver to celebrate the Buffalo Sabres' six-player haul at the NHL draft. The team's general manager flew back to Buffalo late Saturday night so he could be in his office Sunday morning to negotiate with other teams' pending unrestricted free agents. That process will be easier to undertake with the NHL's announ…

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VANCOUVER – This was a four-hour show that needed to get done but it had nothing to do with the Buffalo Sabres' 2019-20 season. Now things start getting real. Sure, the Sabres added to their organizational goalie stockpile Saturday at the NHL Draft with 6-foot-6 Swede Erik Portillo. And it was funny to hear Jason Botterill talk about the "intel" they used to get the pic…