Spoiler alert: The Buffalo Sabres will win tonight’s NHL draft lottery with the numbers 11, 5, 6 and 7. Your trusty correspondent knows this because he went to this really cool website that simulates the NHL draft lottery and it told him so.
Then he did it 99 more times because, like a certain potato chip, you can’t do it only once. The website, http://nhllotterysimulator.com/#/official, took on a new life on Friday when the NHL made public the lottery number combinations for each of the 14 teams in the event. Suddenly, fans everywhere could, with the click of a keyboard, determine where Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel will end up next season. Read more
It’s amazing how things will change by Saturday night. Connor McDavid will know which NHL team he will belong to. The McDavid parents will know in which city their son’s adult life will begin to unfold and flourish. Vendors will go crazy preparing McDavid jerseys, signs and apparel.
(And make no mistake, McDavid will be the first overall selection in the June 26-27 NHL draft in Sunrise, Florida. There will be zero drama with that pick.)
The NHL’s draft lottery will be televised Saturday night at 8 pm. The proceedings will begin about 7:30, but the drawing of lottery balls will take place about a half hour later. McDavid’s most likely destination is a city other than Buffalo, but Buffalo has the best odds of all the 14 non-playoff teams. Here’s how it works.
Stanley Cup playoff hockey has returned to Winnipeg and if the Jets are going to upset the potent Anaheim Ducks, they’ll do it with depth, not through one line or one superstar. One of Winnipeg’s most dangerous players since the trade deadline is right winger Drew Stafford, who came over from Buffalo in the Evander Kane deal. Stafford, a 30-goal scorer with the Sabres in 2010-11, had fallen on hard times offensively in more recent days. But thanks to a couple of high-profile friends, he has rediscovered his game.
The Frozen Four is in the books and it was a classic, with Providence College winning its first-ever hockey title over Boston University. But the season still might not be over for Terriers frosh Jack Eichel, as he and Nashville pick Jimmy Vesey of Harvard were expected to play for Team USA at the World Championship in Switzerland. Meanwhile, we’re getting very close to the world under-18s as well in the Czech Republic. With CHL playoffs still going strong, let’s cruise around the prospect world once again.
After a 15-year NHL career, blueliner Robyn Regehr has decided it’s time for him to hang up his skates.
With the Los Angeles Kings’ season ending and Regehr, 34, having suited up for nearly 1,100 regular season contests, he has decided to walk away from the game. Rumblings had surfaced following the Kings’ 4-1 victory Saturday over the San Jose Sharks that it would be Regehr’s final outing in the league, but it was made all the more official Monday evening when Los Angeles announced that it was indeed Regehr’s final game. Read more
The Buffalo Sabres fired head coach Ted Nolan early Sunday evening, ending the former Jack Adams Award-winner’s second stint with the organization after nearly two full NHL seasons:
The 57-year-old’s Sabres squad was the NHL’s worst team this season with a 23-51-8 mark, but pinning all or most of the blame on Nolan for that would be like faulting a NASCAR driver for not being able to steer a shopping cart to a championship title. Some coaches can make lemonade out of lemons, but Nolan was made to stand in front of a lemon tsunami and asked to compete as his 29 other NHL colleagues do. Read more
After 81 games of futility and losing, the Buffalo Sabres can suddenly play a huge role in shaping the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs.
They can beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in Buffalo, and in doing so, they may help knock the Pens out of post-season contention.
The Sabres have already clinched worst overall in the league, but if anything can get this downtrodden squad up for a game, you’ve got to think this would be it.
The Penguins lost a huge home game to the New York Islanders 3-1 on Friday, blowing their chance to clinch a post-season berth and leaving them open to missing the playoffs if things go badly on Saturday.
Steve Montador’s tragic death at age 35 shocked the hockey world, but the Buffalo Sabres are doing their best to make sure the blueliner who played with the club for two seasons isn’t forgotten.
Friday morning, the Sabres announced the launch of the Steve Montador “Dream Big” Scholarship Fund, which has a $50,000 goal that will be crowd-funded and go towards making a young person’s dreams come true. To kick things off, the Sabres donated $10,000 with help from the Buffalo Sabres Foundation, Alumni Association, current and former minority owner Larry Quinn. Read more