Wednesday, January 10, 2018

On Myers, Antipin, Guhle, Lehner and Kane. Winnipeg at Buffalo tonight.

Published by, 1-9-2017

Defenseman Tyler Myers was selected by the Buffalo Sabres 12th-overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. And here's a little side story to how that selection came to be.

The Los Angeles Kings had the 12th pick in the draft that year, the Sabres had the 13th. Both were looking for defensemen and the two best-rated defensemen on the board sat there when it came to the Kings at No.12--Colten Teubert and Myers. Buffalo GM Darcy Regier proposed a trade to Kings GM Dean Lombardi as he and his scouting staff wanted Myers.

Lombardi had his choice as well but in order for him to sign off on the trade so the Sabres wouldn't take his guy, he proposed they write the name of the player they wanted on a napkin at the draft table. When they turned the napkins over, Regier wrote Myers, Lombardi wrote Teubert and the deal was done. Buffalo traded their pick, No.13 overall and a 2009 3rd-round pick to Los Angeles to move up a spot and picked Myers.

After the draft, Myers would spend one more season in junior where he helped lead the Kelowna Rockets to the WHL Championship while winning the WHL Finals Most Valuable Player award . On the way to that championship, the Rockets would defeat the Vancouver Giants in the conference finals who were lead by Evander Kane. The two would eventually be the two primary pieces of a blockbuster deal between Myers' Sabres and Kane's Winnipeg Jets on February 11, 2015.

The blockbuster trade between the Sabres and the Jets for Myers, who won the 2010 Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year, and Kane also involved Buffalo's Drew Stafford, forward prospect Joel Armia (2011, 16th) and Brendan Lemieux (2014, 31st) plus a conditional first round pick (via the St. Louis Blues in the Ryan Miller trade) that turned into Jack Roslovic (2015, 25th.) The Jets sent defenseman Zach Bogosian and goalie prospect Jason Kasdorf to the Sabres.

Kane and Bogosian, Stafford (who's now with the New Jersey Devils) and Armia have already played their former clubs while Myers and Lemieux have not. But that will change for Myers tonight. After missing the first two meetings at Buffalo because of injury, he'll be in the lineup tonight for the first time since that trade went down nearly three years ago.

Meyers won the 2010 Calder Trophy as the NHL's Rookie of the year. He played 365 games for the Sabres scoring 45 goals and adding 106 assist for 151 points.

Teubert was traded by the Kings to the Edmonton Oilers in 2011 and played 24 games for them registering one assist. He played one more season in North America with Edmonton's Oklahoma City Barons AHL affiliate before heading overseas.

A little side note on that 2008 draft. While the Sabres and Kings were making a deal and taking their d-men, two picks later, the Ottawa Senators selected two-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson with the 15th-overall selection.


Speaking of defensemen, Buffalo rookie rear-guard Victor Antipin was on the ice for the pregame skate after missing over a week because of a tough bout with the flu. Sabres head coach Phil Housley said yesterday that Antipin had lost a lot of wait and that it would take time for him to regain his strength.

"Sometimes it hits different people different ways, and it seemed to hit him pretty hard," Housley told the gathered media yesterday. "He's just got to work his way back in. He lost a lot of weight. He was ill, and those things don't happen overnight. He's going to take some time to gain some muscle and some strength back."


Antipin's illness created an opening for rookie defenseman Brendan Guhle who, according to Housley, has been playing some "terrific hockey" for the Rochester Americans this season. The 19 yr. old Guhle, who was selected in the second round (51st) at the 2015 NHL Draft has 20 points (7+13) for the Amerks and leads the team in shot with 91.

When asked about Guhle and his shots, something the Sabres have been lacking from their blueliners this season, Housley lit up and smiled. "I think he's just earned his way up," before mentioning Guhle's mobility as well as "his stick detail" on defense.

There have been plenty of opportunities to call Guhle up, but the Sabres opted for other d-men instead allowing him to develop. Housley called this a good opportunity "to see what he brings to practice," but by the looks of it, Guhle will be making his first Sabres appearance of the season tonight.


Robin Lehner took a shot to the neck in Philadelphia. He crumbled to the ice, lay their briefly then got up, shook it off and finished the game. The team listed him as day-to-day and summoned goalie Linus Ullmark to come up so that Lehner could have a maintenance day.

According to reports from the rink this morning, Lehner was on the ice and will probably be in net tonight.

As for Ullmark, he got a good taste of practice with the club and may get sent to Rochester for their game tomorrow night in Bellville against the Senators (OTT.)


Trade rumors have been surrounding Kane for years now. At first it was to move him because of off-ice troubles but now it's due to his impending free agency and status as possibly the top rental player available this season.

Kane has said before that he understands this is a business and ironically is having a career year in Buffalo. After 42 games he's second on the team in scoring, one point behind Jack Eichel. His hot start had him atop the Sabres leaderboard for most of the season, but things have cooled for him lately. He broke a seven-game scoring slump two days ago with a late goal against Minnesota, but he also said that he's been getting the opportunities.

"I think in my last few games I've had some Grade A scoring opportunities," said Kane via John Vogl of The Buffalo News. "I just haven't finished. That unfortunately happens throughout the course of a season but you try and rectify that as soon as possible."

No better time than tonight against his former team. Winnipeg has been on a roll lately with only one regulation loss in their last 10 games (7-2-1) which includes a 4-3 victory over the Sabres four days ago in Winnipeg. Vogl also points out that when the Jets play the same team within a week, they're a perfect 6-0 so far with a 28-5 scoring edge.

Tonight's projected lineup for Buffalo:



Benoit Pouliot is the healthy scratch up front or the second time in three games while Josh Gorges and Justin Falk watch Guhle's season debut from the pressbox.

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