Beauts

The first ever NWHL Draft is now in the books and the Buffalo Beauts selected 5 players that will take the ice at the HarborCenter in 2016. Even though Beauts got the sort end of the straw choosing 4th in each round they managed to pick up some great players and some homegrown talent.

1st Round 

Courtney Burke, Defenseman -Wisconsin

Courtney Burke hails from our state capitol. Burke left Albany at age 13 to play for prep school Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, Minnesota. The 5′ 9″ defenseman has accumulated 73 points and has a +/- rating of +60 in her first three years with the Badgers. The Badger was named to the All-WCHA Rookie team, All-WCHA 2nd team in 2014 and All-WCHA 3rd team in 2015. She has played on the International stage with USA hockey. Burke has been in five International tournaments since 2010 picking up 11 assists.

2nd Round

Sarah Lefort, Forward -Boston University

Sarah Lefort becomes first Beaut selected from Canada. Lefort grew up in Ormston, Quebec. She has  played for Team Quebec in the 2011 Canada Winter Games and won a Gold Medal for Canada at the 2012 IIHL World Women’s U18 Championship. Lefort was 8th in scoring and goals in the NCAA this past season for the Terriers. She has had back-to-back 50 point seasons in her sophomore and junior year at BU.  Lefort was selected as Hockey East Second Team All-Star this year.

3rd Round

Amanda Leveille, Goalie -Minnesota

Amanda Leveille is the first Goalie the Buffalo Beauts have drafted. The 5′ 7″ goalie is from Kingston, Ontario where she attended Frontenac Secondary School. Leveille helped lead Minnesota to an NCAA Championship this winter stopping 19 of 20 in the Championship game against Harvard. The Golden Gopher was second in the nation in save percentage (.946). Leveille lead Team Ontario Red to a Gold Medal at the 2011 Canada National Women’s U18 Championships. She was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team for her performance between the pipes for the Golden Gophers.

4th Round

Emily Janiga, Forward -Mercyhurst

The Beauts hope they have a hometown hero in Emily Janiga. The Forward of Mercyhurst grew up in East Aurora and played high school hockey at Nichols. Janiga showed promise early as she has played in every game of her first three years at Mercyhurst. As a junior, Janiga became co-captain of the Lakers and became the College Hockey America Player of the Year and College Hockey America Scoring Champion. She was All-College Hockey America First Team for her sophomore and junior seasons and earned All-College Hockey America Rookie Team as a Freshman. Janiga was a 2014 Women’s National Festival invitee for USA hockey.

5th Round

Jenna Dingeldein, Forward -Mercyhurst

The Beauts with the final pick in the draft selected Janiga’s teammate in Jenna Dingeldein. Dingeldein grew up just a few hours away from the HarborCenter, in Toronto. Dingeldein, like Janiga has played in all of her collegiate games so far. The 6′ 1″ Forward had 35 points for the Lakers this season giving her All-College Hockey America Second Team honors. She received along with Janiga All-College Hockey America Rookie honors in 2013.

The Buffalo Sabres waived Cody Hodgson on Monday in preparation of a buyout. The team has yet to release a statement but figures to do so some time on Tuesday.

Hodgson is coming off a poor NHL season. He recorded a career worst 6 goals and 7 assists for 13 points. He went 47 games without a goal at one point during the season. He was a healthy scratch four times and had his ice time diminished considerably from the previous year.

Often times he skated on the 4th line and only made rare appearances on the power play. For whatever reason he found his way into Ted Nolan’s dog house early in the season and had a hard time stepping out of it. Hard to believe this was the same player that recorded 20 goals a season before.

Hodgson just finished his 2nd year of a 6 year contract. Should the Sabres complete the buyout he’ll count against their cap until the 2022-23 season.

He’s only 25 years old, he still has considerable talent so it’s likely an NHL GM will take a chance on him. He isn’t a player that can take over a game but he can be an effective play-maker. Is he a Top-6 forward? I wouldn’t rule that out if put in the right situation. Perhaps the Lindy Ruff and the Dallas Stars take a shot at him but don’t rule out Boston or Florida either.

wolfFrank Wolf

@wolf3328

fromthe300level.com

Phil Housley was preparing lunch Monday afternoon when he looked down at his phone and saw the numbers 416 pop up and he immediately knew it was the call he had been waiting 10 years for. The 1982 first round draft choice of the Buffalo Sabres was selected along with six others for enshrinement into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be November 9th up in Toronto.

Housley appeared in 1,495 games over a 23 year career and played on eight different teams. He currently sits in fourth place all-time among defenseman in scoring with 1,232 points (338 goals and 894 assists). He was known as one of the best offensive-defenseman of his era which included the likes of Paul Coffey, Ray Bourque, Al McInnis and Chris Chelios.

Housley appeared in seven All-Star games and is 2nd among US born players in scoring (Mike Modano).  He was inducted into the USA Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004. He coached team USA at the 2013 IIHF U20 tournament  and guided them to a Gold medal championship. Currently he is an assistant coach with the

Phil Housley

Phil Housley

Nashville Predators.

The Sabres drafted him sixth overall in 1982, straight out of high school and he spent 8 full seasons in Buffalo. Scotty Bowman dubbed him the next Bobby Orr, which was incredibly unfair at the time considering all of Orr’s accomplishments. Housley was an 18 year old kid when drafted and was not a physical player. His game was about puck movement, skating, eluding the forecheck and setting up the offense. He was deadly when quarterbacking the power play for Buffalo and then the Winnipeg Jets to whom he was traded in the summer of 1990.

In his second year he scored 31 goals which is still a record for Buffalo defenseman. He is the last Sabres defenseman to record a hat-trick (twice in 1987-88). He owns 7 different records in Sabres history.

Category # Season
Most Assists in a Season 60 1989-90
Most Points in a Season 81 1989-90
Most Assists By a Rookie in a Season 47 1982-83
Most Goals in a Season 31 1983-84
Most Goals By a Defenseman (Career) 156 1982-1990
Most Assists By a Defenseman (Career) 334 1982-1990
Most Points By a Defenseman (Career) 490 1982-1990

When I first learned the Sabres were trading Housley back in the summer of 1990 to the Winipeg Jets for Dale Hawerchuk, I didn’t want to believe it. I still remember reading about it in the Buffalo News 25 years later. It was a horrible day, I hated Buffalo for making the move and detested Hawerchuk because of it. Two seasons later I received a Phil Housley jersey for Christmas and attended the Jets vs Sabres game on January 26th(Super Bowl Sunday – Bills vs Redskins). Sabres won 5-2, Bills lost 38-14. It was the day after my 17th birthday.

Growing up on Warren Ave in Kenmore a small village just north of Buffalo we played street hockey all day, everyday. I was Housley. I could have been Wayne Gretzky or Jari Kurri, my brother was Gil Perreault, my buddy next door was Rick Middleton (Bruins fan). Those were great times and fond memories.

The first Sabres game my Father ever took me too was versus the Toronto Maple Leafs and Housley had a contingent of family and friends sitting directly in front of us. That’s how it started I guess. He was my idol growing up. When he came back to Buffalo as a Jet or a St. Louis Blues, New Jersey Devils, Calgary Flames or Washington Capitals player I made it down to  Memorial Auditorium to see “Wowey” Housley. He could skate like the wind. Always dangerous with the puck and very elusive. You could not hit him, he was too quick on his skates.

 

I had the chance to meet Housley two seasons ago when the Predators came to town. After the game I asked then head coach Barry Trotz if Phil was still in the building. Trotz went looking for him and brought him to me. I shared the story with him of my first hockey game memory with my Father, how I had idolized him as a young boy and followed his career closely. I asked him then about his chances of making it into the HHOF. “I hope it happens one day” he said adding “I can’t worry about that though.”

His career ended up with the Leafs in the 2002-03 season.He played one regular season game and three playoff games with Toronto. I wish it could say it ended well but you could see time caught up with Housley. He made it out of the first round of the playoffs only twice. Once with Buffalo in his rookie season and again with the Capitals in 1997-98. That season they beat Buffalo in the Eastern Conference finals only to be swept by the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup finals. He had a phenomenal career.

One that will be forever remembered when he takes his rightful place in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

wolfFrank Wolf

@wolf3328

fromthe300level.com

 

Kevin Love is a free agent, but don’t worry Cleveland, Sam Amico of Fox Sports has reported that Love recently indicated to the franchise that he does, in fact, plan on returning to the Cavaliers this off-season. In order for the Cavs to resign Love and Tristan Thompson they will have to move back up center Brendan Haywood and his contract. Haywood is scheduled to make $10,522,500 next season.

From the moment Love signed with the Cavs, he has been scrutinized, dissected and evaluated on almost every play, every quarter and every game. I don’t understand where this is coming from? Fans and Media have been unmercifully critical of the former Minnesota Timberwolves and UCLA Bruins power forward. Love was selected 5th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft. Love improved his game and his stats every year in Minnesota, here is a list of his accomplishments:

  • 3× NBA All-Star (2011–2012, 2014)
  • 2× All-NBA Second Team (2012, 2014)
  • NBA Most Improved Player (2011)
  • NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2009)
  • NBA Three-Point Shootout champion (2012)
  • NBA rebounding leader (2011)
  • Love was the only player in the history of the NBA to make 190 three point baskets while averaging over 12 rebounds per game.
  • Olympic Gold Medal Winner

The critics of Love will say the he is just a “numbers guy” or a “stat stuffer” on a losing team. This is one of the greatest lies, or misconceptions in the history of the NBA. Because his teams were so bad in MN, every team tried to stop Love and they still couldn’t do it. Love is not a volume shooter, like a Carmelo Anthony or Allen Iverson, he is an efficient scorer who can beat you inside and out. Without any legitimate all stars on his roster, in 2013-14, Love averaged:

26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists, shot 37% from three point range and 82% from the free throw line.

Here is a list of the last 4 MVP’s in comparison:
Stephen Curry: 23.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists, shot 44% from three point range and 91% from the free throw line.

Kevin Durant: 32 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists, shot 39% from three point range and 87% from the free throw line.

LeBron James: 25.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 6.6 assists, shot 37% from three point range and 77% from the foul line.

Derek Rose: 25 points, 4.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists, shot 33% from three point range and 85% from the foul line.

 

There has never been a power forward in the history of the NBA with Love’s skill set. He is a double/ double machine, he can ignite the break with his outlet passing and stretch the floor by shooting the three.

During his first year with the Cavs Love averaged 16.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2 assists per game.

His numbers were down because he was the third option on this team, behind James and Kyrie Irving. Other than Kevin Durant there is not another player in the NBA who would average more points per game if they were on Cleveland. James and Irving dominate the ball and take the majority of the shots. Love took 6 less shots per game this year. Yet, his numbers were amazing. Look at the other 3rd options for the teams that made it to the Eastern and Western Conference Finals, compared to Love’s.

Golden State Warriors: Draymond Green, 11.7 points. 8.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game

Houston Rockets: Trevor Ariza, 12.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game

Atlanta Hawks: Al Horford, 15.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

Love is not a “stat stuffer” on a losing team, he is a great NBA basketball player. There is a reason Mike Krzyzewski picked the power forward to be on the 2012 Olympic Basketball Team. Love was 5th on that team in scoring behind Durant, James, Anthony and Kobe Bryant, and he led the team in rebounding.

Love is doing what he is supposed to be doing on the Cavs roster. He is scoring, stretching the floor and rebounding. He has an incredible basketball IQ and his numbers will go up as he gets more comfortable with the team. Does anyone really believe that Golden State would have defeated Cleveland in the Finals if Love was healthy? He is the ultimate stretch 4 and there has never been a player like him. Appreciate him NBA fans and media, he will never put up numbers like he did in Minnesota because he has two of the best scorers in the NBA on his roster. Love is a winner and a success… Get off his back!

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nhl 2015 draftThe Sabres used the 51st pick of the 2015 NHL entry draft to select Brendan Guhle. The 17 year old defenseman played SABlast season for the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL. He was ranked Nos. 70 by Bob McKenzie of TSN and the 56th ranked North-American born player by NHL Central Scouting.

He interviewed with Buffalo and 23 other teams including two with the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks at the Combine last month at the Harborcenter. Guhle is a big fan of the city. “I had a great time, it was awesome” he said after going through the testing portion of the combine. “I thought the interviews went really well and the testing obviously went really good” said Guhle.

We asked Brendan what he thought he needed to work on to reach the NHL level; “I want to get bigger and stronger” he said adding “My coaches and I are working on making the simple plays.”

The scouts say Guhle is built like a tank and his test results at the combine prove that. They say he can eat up a lot of ice time and is frustrating to play against.

PLAYER PROFILE
Name Pos Shot Hgt Wgt League Team Twitter Fav Team
Guhle, Brendan D L 6’1″ 184 WHL Prince Albert @Guhle_4 Edmonton Oilers

Brendan Guhle Interview (speaking with @eliteprospects and @wolf3328)

Guhle’s birthdate is July 29th and he was born in 1997 in Sherwood Park, Alberta Canada. He was selected 3rd overall in 2012 by the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL and will most likely return to them in the Fall.

 

wolfFrank Wolf

@wolf3328

fromthe300level.com

 

Sabres GM Tim Murray wasted little time Friday night selecting Jack Eichel as the number 2 pick in the 2015 NHL draft.

Since the NHL held it’s draft lottery two month’s ago in Toronto, and determined that the Edmonton Oilers would have the first pick and Connor McDavid it was inevitable that Eichel would end up wearing the Blue & Gold. It became a reality Friday.

Eichel has yet to decide his immediate future but is expected to make a decision on where he will play next season. He can return to Boston University as a sophmore or bite the bullet and start his career in Buffalo. Dan Quinn, the head coach at BU highly doubts Eichel will return to school.

The Sabres traded their 2nd of two 1st round picks earlier in the day to the Ottawa Senators for Robin Lehner and David Legwand.

 

 

sabresThe Buffalo Sabres have agreed to deal the 21st overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for goaltender Robin Lehner and forward David Legwand. Lehner will turn 24 on July 24th and Legwand will be 35 in August.

Robin Lehner 2nd Round, 46th Pick 2009 Ottawa Senators

Robin Lehner
2nd Round, 46th Pick 2009
Ottawa Senators

The Sabres have been looking to add a young, starting goaltender and with GM Tim Murray’s familiarity with the Senators prospect, this was highly predictable. The Swedish born netminder posts a .914 save percentage and a 2.88 goals against average in 86 games played, his overall record was 30-36-13. He won the Calder Cup Championship in 2011 and was named the AHL’s most valuable player during the postseason that year. He had a .938 save percentage during the regular season that same year, the league’s best.

Robin Lehner Stats

Legwand was the 2nd overall pick at the 1998 NHL draft (held in Buffalo) by the Nashville Predators. He spent parts of 15 seasons in Nashville before waving his no-trade clause in 2013-14 at the deadline. The Predators traded him to Detroit in exchange for two

David Legwand

David Legwand

players and a 2nd round pick. He signed a free agent contract on July 4th, 2014 with Ottawa. Last season he scored nine goals in 80 games played. He had been a healthy scratch for part of the Senators playoff games last season and will be a $3 million-dollar cap hit.

David Legwand Stats

The Sabres have a solid foundation now in the back end with a young goaltender who is at the very beginning of his career. Lehner represented Sweden at the last Olympic games in Sochi playing behind Henrik Lundqvist but ahead of former Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth.

Legwand’s best days are behind him but he could still help the club and it’s young core of Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel. He has one year remaining on his contract.

The Sabres now have just one (1) 1st round selection (2nd overall) in the draft Friday. The next pick they hold is the 31st of the 2nd round.

wolfFrank Wolf

@wolf3328

fromthe300level.com

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced on Wednesday that the league will begin the process of evaluating potential ownership groups and markets for expansion. During a media session from the MGM casino where the Board of Governors have been meeting he indicated that interested groups will have the opportunity to submit formal applications beginning July 6th and with a file date no later than August 10th.

It has long been rumored that Las Vegas could be the next city to host an NHL team, along with Quebec. The Nordiques left Quebec back in 1995 for Colorado.

“Over the past several years we have received numerous expressions of
interest from potential markets and ownership groups that have indicated an
interest in joining the National Hockey League. The Board decided today to
examine those expressions more formally and also to welcome any other
groups or markets that may be considering pursuit of an NHL team,” NHL
Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “The fact that we are beginning this
process does not necessarily mean that any expansion teams will be granted
as a result of this process.”

 

The NHL and NHLPA announced today (June 23, 2015) that they will raise the salary “ceiling” to $71.4 million dollars. The floor is set at $52.8 million with an Adjusted Midpoint at $62.1 million.

The Phoenix Coyotes are well under the floor at $34.2 million while the Buffalo Sabres are locked in at $45,499,390 committed in player salaries. That means the Sabres, like the Coyotes will have quite a few bucks to throw at impending free agents when they hit the market July 1st.

To see where other teams are financially click the link below:

www.generalfanager.com/teams

 

wolfFrank Wolf

@wolf3328

fromthe300level.com 

 

The New York Knicks have the 4th pick in this year’s 2015 NBA Draft.  There are a ton of rumors circulation on social media and talk radio stating, that the Knicks are looking to trade their draft pick. There is an old saying, “Those who don’t learn from their past are doomed to repeat it.” When I look around the league, the elite teams have always built through the draft:

Golden State Warriors: Stephen Curry, Draymond Green. Klay Thomspon and Harrison Barnes

San Antonio Spurs: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginóbili

Chicago Bulls: Derek Rose, Jimmy Butler and Joakim Noah

LA Clippers: Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan

Cleveland Cavaliers: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson

Here is a list of the New York Knicks Draft Picks over the past 15 years:

2000  Lavor Postell  United States SG St. John’s

2001  Michael Wright  United States PF Arizona

2001  Eric Chenowith  United States C Kansas

2002  Nenê  Brazil PF/C Vasco da Gama (Brazil)

2002  Miloš Vujanić  Serbia and Montenegro PG KK Partizan (Serbia)

2003 Michael Sweetney  United States PF Georgetown

2003  Maciej Lampe  Poland F/C Real Madrid (Spain)

2003  Slavko Vraneš  Serbia and Montenegro C Budućnost Podgorica (Montenegro)

2004  Trevor Ariza  United States SF UCLA

2005  Channing Frye  United States PF/C Arizona

2005 David Lee United States PF/C Florida

2005  Dijon Thompson  United States SG/SF UCLA

2006  Renaldo Balkman  United States SF/PF South Carolina

2006 Mardy Collins  United States PG/SG Temple

2007  Wilson Chandler  United States SF DePaul

2008  Danilo Gallinari  Italy SF Olimpia Milano (Italy)

2009  Jordan Hill  United States PF Arizona

2010  Andy Rautins  Canada SG Syracuse

2010  Landry Fields  United States SG Stanford

2011  Iman Shumpert  United States SG/PG Georgia Tech

2012  Kostas Papanikolaou  Greece PF Olympiacos (Greece)

2013 Tim Hardaway, Jr.  United States G University of Michigan

2014  Cleanthony Early  United States SF Wichita State University

2014  Thanasis Antetokounmpo

Madison Square Garden used to be known as the “Mecca of Basketball.” But, that Mecca has been torn down, demolished and destroyed into rubble. Since the year 2000 the Knicks:

  • Missed the playoffs 11 times
  • Had a stretch where they didn’t make the playoffs 8 out of 9 years
  • Missed the post-season the last two years
  • They won 1 playoff series
  • Never made it to the Eastern Conference Finals
  • Lost more than 50 games during the season 6 times
  • Had a record of 17-65 in 2014-15. The Warriors won 16 games in two months during their NBA Championship run in two months.

New York Knicks owner James Dolan is like the last man standing at the bar. He doesn’t care about tomorrow, or the future, he just wants instant gratification and goes home with any woman who wants him. The Knicks never have a long term plan. It is always about winning now! But here is the problem… The Knicks have never won under Dolan. He keeps doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same results. That is not only the definition of insanity but the definition of total incompetence. The Knicks traded away players like Zach Randolph, Jamal Crawford and David Lee.

It’s okay to lose, The Clippers lost for years, The Cavs lost for years… but when you build through the draft you have long term success. This is been the worst run team in the History of the NBA. 15 years of losing, 15 years of failure, 15 years of trading away draft picks or drafting the wrong players. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. One would think that just by luck the Knicks would draft a franchise player but they haven’t. Look at that list of drafted players? It’s the epitome of role players and guys who are now playing in a beer league somewhere. Even the Minnesota Timberwolves drafted Kevin Garnett and Kevin Love.

If available with the number 4 pick the Knicks should draft Duke Forward Justise Winslow. He is 6’4/6’5 long and very athletic. I compare him to a poor man’s Jimmy Butler of Chicago. The NBA has become a guard//wing league. At one point in the NBA Finals LeBron James was playing center. Winslow will never average 25 points per game, but he will be a consistent defender, score 15-18 points, grab 7-9 rebounds and dish out 3-5 assists per game. He can be a legitimate number 2 or 3 option for 10-12 years.

Phil Jackson will be 70 years old on September 17 of this year. He better have a long term plan and not trade away the future for some aging veteran passed his prime. This is what the Knicks have done for years. So once again Phil… “Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.” Hopefully for Knicks fans, this is not the case.  They deserve better!

 

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