TORONTO/NEW YORK (Aug. 22, 2016) – The National Hockey League Players’ Association and National Hockey League announced today pre-tournament practice schedules for all eight teams competing in World Cup of Hockey 2016, which can be accessed here here.

Please note that all schedules are local time and subject to change. Eight teams – Team Canada, Team Czech Republic, Team Europe, Team Finland, Team North America, Team Russia, Team Sweden and Team USA – will compete in the two week tournament, featuring more than 170 of the best players in the NHL. All tournament games will be played at the Air Canada Centre, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

For more information on the World Cup of Hockey 2016, visit


Buffalo, NY- The wait is over. The highly anticipated announcement was made official late Friday afternoon. NHL Free Agent and cropped-FT300L.jpg2016 Hobey Baker Award winner Jimmy Vesey has decided that he will suit up for the New York Rangers next season. Leaving teams like Buffalo, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Boston and Chicago in the dust.

Last Spring the former Nashville Predators prospect made headlines when he and his agent informed the them that he would not be signing with them in August. This immediately sent shock waves throughout the league. Vesey, who hasn’t even taken a shift in an NHL regular season game became a media sensation overnight.

Vesey is coming off his senior season at Harvard University (NCAA) in which he recorded 24 goals in thirty-three games. He was a finalist in 2015 for the Hobey Baker Award losing out to Team USA teammate Jack Eichel.

Last June the Buffalo Sabres sent a 2016 3rd round draft choice to Nashville in exchange for the Vesey’s rights. Buffalo had 4, 3rd round picks heading into the NHL Entry Draft so it wasn’t a huge gamble for the blue and gold. GM Tim Murray and his staff believed acquiring the rights to Vesey would give the team a leg up on the competition in signing the skilled forward. “I think any team would’ve done that deal,” Murray said. “We like Jimmy a lot and think he’s top six forward.”

Eichel, who played summer hockey in Boston with Vesey had good conversations about teaming up in WNY this upcoming season as did Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh and Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks. Perhaps the biggest influence on why Vesey chose the bright lights over the aforementioned teams was his childhood friend Kevin Hayes. The Rangers inked Hayes to a two-year deal last month and another Bostonian Chris Kreider is a veteran there.

“There were some ties to New England and my home,” Vesey said of his future teammates. “It was one of the factors in my decision.”

You can’ blame Vesey for choosing the route he decided to go, the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) allows for such to happen. Vesey played the hand he was dealt and will be paid a king’s ransom for it.

The Harvard captain was named the best American collegiate hockey player in New England twice and was also a two-time winner of the ECAC Player of the Year. At 22 years old most GM’s around the NHL believe he would fit in too most team’s Top-6 forwards. 

Nashville had reason to worry long before Vesey spurned them last March. The two sides were unable to reach an agreement after Vesey’s 3rd season at Harvard leaving them with just a year to do a contract. Per Preds GM David Poile the sides met face-to-face prior to the 2015-16 trade deadline and that the sides walked away with the understanding that Vesey would be on the Preds playoff roster once the NCAA season was over. When things turned sour, Poile went nuts. 

If in fact Vesey lied to Preds officials about his future, Nashville would have every reason to cry wolf. At the very least the Preds would have been able to trade the player’s rights for a piece that would have helped them make a Stanley Cup run. Would they have lured a Top 6 forward at the deadline, anything is possible but I doubt it? Reason being, any GM that would have dealt for Vesey in April surely would have understood that there was no guarantee come mid-August they would be able to reach a deal with the college Phenom.

Murray understood this and waited for the regular season to finish before making the deal. Vesey will undoubted ably hear the wrath of hockey fans from those teams he snubbed. The lights on Broadway just became that much brighter. 

~ @wolf3328



Atlanta Braves fans know that Dansby Swanson (Major League Baseball’s no. 8 prospect entering 2016 and no. 5 currently) is the bright young star who is going to lead their team back to respectability once their tumultuous rebuild comes to an end. Though 2016 at Turner Field has been nothing less than abominable, GM John Coppolella decided the time was right and on Wednesday, the club called up the 22-year-old from Double A Mississippi for his debut on the big show, and the kid from Kennesaw, GA did not disappoint.

Batting 8th for the Braves against the Twins at Turner Field on Wednesday, Swanson recorded his first career MLB hit in the 4th inning, a single to right off Kyle Gibson. Then, in the bottom of the 9th, he singled up the middle for his second hit, again off Gibson. Although the Braves lost 10-3, Swanson’s debut was one to remember, especially since it was for the team he loved growing up.

“It was about as close to a dream come true as possible,” the shortstop said to’s Mark Bowman. “Playing for your hometown team and basically going out there and doing what you’ve worked your whole life for is pretty special.”

Swanson is batting .261 with 8 HR and 45 RBI for Mississippi in his first year in the Minors. After finishing behind Boston’s Andrew Benintendi for the 2015 Golden Spikes award. Swanson was selected first overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2015 MLB Draft (Benintendi went 7th).  The D-Backs traded Swanson to the Braves for Shelby Miller this past offseason, the move has worked out horrifically for Arizona so far. In 2016, Miller is 2-9 with a 7.14 ERA and was demoted to Triple-A Reno on July 15. Not a lot of people thought Miller would be in the minors when Swanson got his promotion.

Their is hope for the future in Atlanta beyond Swanson as well. Baseball Prospectus ranks the Brave’s farm system as the second best in the MLB entering 2016, behind only the Dodgers. SS/2B Ozzie Albies (MLB no. 16) excelled in Double A and was promoted to Triple A Gwinnett this season at just 19, he could very well see time as early as next season.

You be the judge: could the Braves turn it around sooner rather than later? Or are fans at Turner Field getting their hopes up too fast?


Matthew Morris @Flat_Manigen74


Orchard Park, NY– After announcing earlier this week that the naming rights to Ralph Wilson Stadium had been sold to locally owned New Era Cap Company, Buffalo Business First reporter Jim Fink broke the news Wednesday that the stadium would now be called New Era Field.

Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula will make the announcement in a ceremony in orchard Park on Thursday at 11am.

This will be the third time since the team moved from the old “Rockpile” (War Memorial). When the stadium was built in Orchard Park back in 1973, Rich Products secured a 25 year deal for the naming rights, calling it Rich Stadium. Then Ralph Wilson Stadium, after the original owner.

Should the Bills decide to move to a new location, New Era Cap will have first dibs on naming the new facility.

New Era Cap Company was founded in 1920, a well known headwear and apparel manufacturer employ 1200 people worldwide, with 300 located in WNY.

Buffalo, NY – Lord knows I’ve been quick to hit HC Rex Ryan with a few jabs when it comes to the Bills plundering while under his watch. Turning a Top 5 defense into swiss cheese in less then a month will do that, even from the most  liberal critic.

On Tuesday Buffalo fans learned that in addition to the list of starters nursing injuries another prominent player is facing a 4-game suspension when the season kicks off on Sept. 11th. in Baltimore. Sitting in the sun with Karlos Williams will be Marcel Dareus, dude was caught once again smoking a J.

What’s wrong with a lil weed now and again? Welp, if you are an NFL player (or Coach, official, statistician, ball inflater) you can’t toke, it’s in the rules. In fact, they give you several chances to kick the habit before they actually suspend you for it. As Dareus already knows. See, Mr. 420 missed last seasons home opener against the Indianapolis Colts for the same infraction.

Unfortunately for Bills fans Dareus just can’t help himself. You can’t blame this one on Rex. This falls on the Bills best defensive lineman since Bruce Smith.

Hey, at least the Bills won the off-season. Gulp.

cropped-FT300L.jpgWest Seneca, NY – On Tuesday afternoon the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Section VI released it’s Hall of Fame Class for 2016. Among the sixteen individuals that will be honored at a dinner on December 9th are Warren Spahn (posthumous), Dick Gallagher and Dave Hollins.

The Section VI Hall of Fame was established to honor and recognize those, within its organization, who excelled in their roles as Athletes, Administrators, Coaches, Officials, or Contributors who have provided meritorious service.

3rd Annual Section VI Hall of Fame

Section VI (NYSPHSAA) proudly announces its Hall of Fame, Class of 2016:

Jeff Anastasia                              Coach                                         Olean High School

Harvey Austin*                             Athlete/Coach                             Emerson High School

Jerry Baldelli                                Administrator                              Frontier High School/Section VI

Tim Bergan                                   Coach                                         Ellicottville Central Schools

Jehuu Caulcrick                            Athlete                                        Clymer Central Schools

Jim Conley                                   Admin/Coach/Contributor/Official    Williamsville South High School

Dick Gallagher                             Contributor                                 Section VI

Don Gilbert                                  Athlete/Coach                             Bennett High School

Robert Hettler*                             Coach                                         Amherst Central Schools

Dave Hollins                                Athlete                                        Orchard Park Central Schools

Wally Huckno                              Coach                                         Jamestown High School

Bob Lanier                                   Athlete                                        Bennett High School

Larry Lash                                    Coach                                         Wilson Central Schools

Warren Spahn*                             Athlete                                        South Park High School

Larry Veronica                             Coach                                         Bennett High School

Mark Ward                                   Administrator                              Ellicottville Central Schools

The Class of 2016 induction ceremony is scheduled for Friday, December 9, 2016 at The Columns Banquets, located in Elma, NY. The evening will commence at 5:30 pm with a cash bar and dinner, followed by the induction ceremony.  Dinner reservations are $30 per individual.  No advance payment is necessary, but reservations must be made by November 23, 2016 to:  or Pauline Turski at (716) 821-7581.