Buffalo Sabres, NHL Suspensions, Trade Deadline


Good morning, Buffalo Sabres fans. After a few days off, the Buffalo Sabres return to action tonight, facing the Montreal Canadiens for a 7:30 p.m. matchup. It’s one of 11 games on tap for the NHL this evening. Before we get down into the business of prepping for tonight’s game – and what hopefully won’t be the 15th consecutive loss for the Buffalo Sabres – here’s some news and notes from around the league.

First, up a suspension handed over by the NHL.

This one’s a little different than most suspensions: it involves a referee, not a player.

The NHL suspended referee Tim Peel “indefinitely” after he met with Yahoo’s Greg Wyshynski at a bar on Thursday. A photo of the two met appeared on Yahoo’s Puck Daddy, and Peel was fairly candid in some of his responses to Wyshynski’s questions. The league decided to suspend Peel, meaning he wasn’t able to ref in Friday’s game.

He did, however, ref a game on Saturday. It’s unclear if this means the suspension was one game or what, since it was originally announced as “indefinite.”

Here’s the full article from Deadspin, including a photo.

More from Sabres News

Yesterday, we talked about jersey ads potentially coming to the NHL. Today, let’s talk about another possible change headed this way: 3-on-3 overtime.

It’s a move specifically designed to lessen the number of games that require a shootout to be determined. The American Hockey League already uses a new overtime format, but a lot of NHLPA members are apparently not thrilled about the idea. [USA Today]

We’re now officially less than one month away from the NHL trade deadline, and so many questions remain. Will Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray make any moves? Will Chris Stewart still be a member of the organization when all is said and done? How about Jhonas Enroth or Michal Neuvirth?

USA Today this morning takes a look at some of the more highly-coveted players heading into the trade deadline.

Two Buffalo Sabres players actually made USA Today’s list: Drew Stafford and Tyler Myers.

Do you think either of them will move before the March 2 deadline?

Finally, a quick look at the world of junior hockey.

The Ontario Hockey League has officially approved the sale of the Plymouth Whalers.

The team will continue its play in Plymouth to finish out this season, then move to Flint, Michigan for the 2015-16 season and beyond. The team will reportedly hold a contest to help determine its name in the future.

In other OHL team news, many may have heard by now that the Erie Otters could potentially be moved in the future. Fans of the team have rallied to keep the team in Erie with the “You Otter Stay Here” campaign, and I’ve seen several fans on Twitter asking if the Otters could potentially move to Buffalo, if Terry Pegula decided to purchase the team.

Here’s the thing about that: realistically, there’s nowhere for an OHL team to play in Buffalo. While the HARBORcenter facility is a wonderful one, it isn’t large enough to hold an OHL team – the biggest rink seats roughly 1500 people. Most OHL arenas hold upwards of 3000 people, with the larger ones tipping the scale of 9,000.

Having the team play at First Niagara Center is highly unlikely, especially on a permanent basis. Think about trying to combine the NHL schedule of the Buffalo Sabres, plus an OHL schedule, plus the Buffalo Bandits schedule AND concerts and other events that are held at FNC. Not to mention, putting an OHL team in a 19,000 seat arena as a permanent home is just not going to happen.

The Ottawa 67s did briefly play at the home of the Ottawa Senators, but this was a move that happened while construction was happening on their current arena.