Buffalo Sabres power forward Evander Kane has officially been charged with criminal trespass and up to four counts of non-criminal harassment stemming from an incident at a local nightclub, notes the Buffalo News. In a surreal scene, Kane was even handcuffed when he met with detectives outside of the city’s Central Booking Bureau:
There is a lot of room for long-term optimism in Buffalo. Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, Ryan O’Reilly and now Alex Nylander are all gems up front, while Rasmus Ristolainen looks like a solid No. 1 defenseman in the years to come. But the team is still in transition and there will be bumps in the short-term. One of those storylines involves fan favorite Zemgus Girgensons.
The Vancouver Canucks made some off-season moves in hopes of increasing their scoring this coming campaign, adding Loui Eriksson to potentially play alongside the Sedin twins and locking up youngsters Markus Granlund, Sven Baertschi and Emerson Etem.
And while the Eriksson signing all but guarantees the Canucks another 20-goal player for the 2016-17 season, there are still some questions about the young contingent of players.
Baertschi, 23, looked to finally hit his stride with a 15-goal campaign and he could have a 20-goal season in him if he catches fire or finds chemistry with his linemates. However, Canucks GM Jim Benning doesn’t seem too keen on simply gambling that Baertschi’s scoring ability will continue to increase. For that reason, he wants to add another scorer.
“We’d like to add a proven scorer who brings some grit to take the pressure off Sven, so he can keep developing at his own pace,” Benning told the Vancouver Sun’s Ben Kuzma. “He took a big step last year and wants to prove to people that he has more to give. But I don’t know where he’s going to end up (next season). At some point, that (second line) is where he’s going to be, but maybe he plays on the third line with the capability of playing on the power play and potentially scoring 15 to 20 goals for us.” Read more
The Buffalo Sabres took a gamble in mid-June when they dealt a third-round pick in the 2016 draft to the Nashville Predators for the rights to NCAA standout Jimmy Vesey. The hope was the Sabres would lock up Vesey before Aug. 15, the day the Hobey Baker Award winner is set to become an unrestricted free agent.
While the gamble may still pay off, Buffalo GM Tim Murray isn’t going to know whether or not he landed Vesey until the 23-year-old is able to test the open market. Vesey told CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty that he had a “very good meeting” with the Sabres, but the 6-foot-2, 201-pound winger wants to at least hear from a few other teams about what they could offer him.
“We have a little bit of a short list going that I’ve worked on with my agents and my family,” Vesey told Haggerty. “We’re going to narrow it down as best as we can, and get through it as quickly as we can on Aug. 15.” Read more
There was a scary scene at the final day of Buffalo Sabres development camp Tuesday when 18-year-old defenseman Michael Campoli was checked into the boards and laid motionless on the ice.
During a three-on-three development camp scrimmage at HarborCenter, Campoli was given a jolt by 21-year-old winger William Carrier and sent into the boards. According to the Buffalo Hockey Beat’s Bill Hoppe, Campoli tried to get to his feet only to fall back down, where he laid — motionless, according to Hoppe — for roughly 20 minutes as he was attended to be medical personnel on hand at the development camp.
After attending to Campoli, medical personnel placed him on a board, Hoppe reported, and wheeled Campoli from the ice “in an upright position.” The Buffalo News’ Mike Harrington captured footage of Campoli being taken off: Read more
If Jimmy Vesey waits until Aug. 15 to hit free agency, he’s going to have a lot of options, but the Sabres are hopping the draw of playing with Jack Eichel and the promise of a real shot at playing big minutes are enough to lock him up before the NCAA’s top free agent hits the open market.
Sabres GM Tim Murray has already made it clear that he’s going to push hard to sign Vesey and isn’t afraid to use rookie sensation Eichel’s relationship with the Harvard standout to get a deal done, but coach Dan Bylsma told NHL.com’s Dan Rosen something equally, if not more, appealing: the promise of top-six minutes.
“First and foremost, he’s got the opportunity to play a top-six role with our team,” Bylsma told Rosen. “He’s got the opportunity to play in a top-six role with a centerman like Jack or Ryan [O’Reilly] possibly, depending on how that would play out…We can surround him with Jack and Sam [Reinhart], but even our veteran players are young players like Ryan O’Reilly, Evander Kane, now Kyle Okposo. He’s got a chance to grow with that group and be a great team. I think that’s the best opportunity for him in the (NHL.)” Read more
The impaired driving charges facing Ryan O’Reilly, 25, have been dropped and now the Buffalo Sabres center can put the entire experience behind him.
The London Free Press’ Jane Sims reported Monday that O’Reilly’s trial, which was slated to last two days, ended shortly after it began. Sims reported the Crown’s lone identification witness said she could not be certain who was behind the wheel of the vehicle that crashed into a Tim Horton’s coffee shop on July 9, 2015, north of London, Ont.
Less than 10 minutes after Sims reported that the witness said a “mystery driver” was behind the wheel of the truck that crashed through the Tim Horton’s window, she added that the Crown had no more evidence and “no reasonable prospect of conviction,” which led to the charges against O’Reilly being dropped.
“The case against Mr. O’Reilly is completely over,” assistant Crown Attorney George Christakos told The Buffalo News’ Gene Warner. Read more
The Vancouver Canucks made a notable splash in this summer’s free-agent pool by signing right winger Loui Eriksson. They could still be in the market for an additional forward.
Jason Botchford of The Province reports the Canucks have been quietly trying to make a deal to land another impact player. He cites GM Jim Benning saying his club would like to acquire a gritty scoring winger.
Botchford claims the Canucks, on the opening day of free agency, were believed trying to package “an unappealing contract with a valuable asset” in hopes of clearing salary-cap room to pursue a forward. He wonders if Buffalo Sabres left winger (and Vancouver native) Evander Kane or Colorado Avalanche left winger Gabriel Landeskog might be among their targets. Botchford also claims a trade involving defenseman Luca Sbisa was thought by some to be discussed.