Buffalo Sabres, Nabokov Retires, Fleury Turns To Music


After a whirlwind day in the world of the Buffalo Sabres Wednesday, there’s a lot to talk about in the hockey world at large this morning.

First up, writers from around the United States and Canada reflect on yesterday’s trades — particularly the blockbuster that sent Buffalo Sabres players Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, Joel Armia, prospect Brendan Lemieux and a draft pick to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian and a goaltending prospect.

Moving on to other pastures in the world of the NHL — goaltender Evgeni Nabokov officially announced his retirement from the NHL this week. [NHL.com]

Nabokov was most recently playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning, but in a touching move, the Lightning “traded” Nabokov back to the San Jose Sharks for future considerations, allowing him to retire with the team where he began his career.

Originally a Sharks draft pick in 1994, Nabokov spent 10 seasons in San Jose. It’s a nice gesture to see him retire with the team where he began his career and where he spent most of it.

Could the Sharks bring him back on some level as a coach? Nabokov was quoted as saying “Hockey is all I know,” (see the NHL.com article), so I wouldn’t be too shocked if he returns to the team in some way.

It’s a shame that the same thing couldn’t happen with Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils.

Speaking of retired NHLers, Theo Fleury has taken on a new career path — music.

Fleury, who retired in 2009 after spending much of his career with the Calgary Flames. is releasing a country music album in May. [NHL]

It’s always interesting to me to see guys who retire from hockey and move on to a completely different career path. I’ll give Fleury (and his band)’s CD a shot when it’s released later this year — why not?

In other news, NHL.com this morning highlights one of the top draft prospects, defenseman Noah Hanifin.

Hanifin is being touted as the top defensive prospect heading into the 2015 NHL Draft. Though he likely won’t end up a member of the Buffalo Sabres, he’s ranked third overall by Central Scouting and should end up being a high pick this June.

Though everyone is thinking about guys like Eichel and McDavid, just keep in mind that there are plenty of high-quality top prospects heading into the draft. It’s a great depth year and this could be one of the best draft classes in recent years.

From Bleacher Report this AM, pending NHL free agents who could cash in big this summer.

No Buffalo Sabres players made the list, but this is okay — mainly because GMTM said yesterday that he plans to try to move all of our free agents before the summer deadline.

Murray clearly wants to get something in return for guys like Patrick Kaleta and Chris Stewart, rather than letting them walk for free, so it’ll be interesting to see what he does in the coming weeks.

Finally, in the realm of the AHL, the Ontario Reign unveiled their new logo and design to be used in the coming season — and it’s kind of awesome.