After a snowstorm wiped out power to suburban Buffalo, N.Y., and with the Sabres on the road, the players boarded their plane in Detroit for a flight home Friday night to learn that managing partner Larry Quinn had sent the team’s equipment crew out to purchase 10 generators to take home in case anybody needed one.
“It was a huge gesture,” said captain Chris Drury. “Guys were nervous.
“Their minds were on other places. A lot of us have infant children or pregnant wives. To have those generators on the plane was a great gesture. It was something that was not lost on us, to know them team is helping us make our families feel secure. It put our minds at ease.”
On Saturday night, the Sabres improved to 5-0-0 by defeating the New York Rangers 7-4, and Drury had a three-goal game for the first time in his 556-game career.
Meanwhile, the Sabres stay at home for a Tuesday game against Philadelphia. Coaches Lindy Ruff and Ken Hitchcock exchanged angry words during the playoffs last spring, but Hitchcock is willing to bury the hatchet given Buffalo’s storm-ravaged problems.
“Maybe Lindy and I can have a candlelight dinner together,” Hitchcock told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
LETOWSKI OKAY: Carolina Hurricanes forward Trevor Letowski rejoined his teammates in time for their flight south after a checkup in hospital after being carried off the ice on a stretcher during the first period of a 5-1 win over the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Saturday night.
He had a cut forehead from impact with the ice, where he left a pool of blood, and a suspected concussion from the open-ice hit by Colby Armstrong.
“It was a clean hit but it’s too bad that that happened,” Armstrong told the Raleigh News Observer. “I feel awful about it.
“I was sick to my stomach after I saw that.”
He was feeling better after learning Letowski didn’t require an overnight stay in hospital.
STYLISH STAAL: Carolina Hurricanes forward Eric Staal has a two-page spread in the November issue of GQ magazine.
The photos, taken in Florida last March, show Staal half-dressed in his pads on one page. He’s pictured on the other page in a bathing suit, in a leather jacket and cap, and eating a piece of cake.
STUCK ON STOLL: Edmonton Oilers forward Jarret Stoll is said to be seeing actress-model Rachel Hunter, the former wife of recording artist Rod Stewart. He’s 24, she’s 37.
SCOTTY SHOWS UP: Scotty Bowman, the former Detroit coach who now is a consultant to the Red Wings, is on their four-game western road trip. First up is a game against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night. Current coach Mike Babcock says he likes talking strategy with Bowman.
“It’s about a continual process of getting better,” Babcock told the Detroit Free Press.
HI, NEIGHBOUR: Former baseball slugger Mark McGwire lives next door to Anaheim defenceman Chris Pronger in a gated community in Irvine, Calif. The two first met in St. Louis where Pronger played for the Blues and McGwire for the Cardinals. McGwire showed up at the Ducks opener wearing a replica jersey with Pronger’s old No. 44 on the back.
TELLQVIST TO MARLIES: The Toronto Maple Leafs have assigned No. 3 goaltender Mikael Tellqvist to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies to get some work.
The 27-year-old Swede was a spectator for the Leafs’ first six games of the new NHL season. Last season, Tellqvist was 10-11-2 in 25 games with the Leafs.
BAD BRUINS: Boston went 1-3-1 on a five-game road trip to open its season.
The Bruins allowed 20 goals and scored 10. With only six returnees from last season’s lineup, it’s taking time to gell.
“We’re all frustrated,” captain Zdeno Chara told the Boston Globe. “We’re losing games by making mistakes.
“We have to get better.”
They hope practice will make perfect before their home opener Thursday against the Calgary Flames.
WILD ON ROAD: The Minnesota Wild are 5-0-0 after beginning the season with five consecutive home games. Now they go to California for three games.
“Hopefully, we’ll have a good road trip,” says coach Jacques Lemaire. “That would give a great, great boost to this club.
Captain Brian Rolston is being realistic about the good start.
“You don’t win the Stanley Cup in October or even make the playoffs,” Rolston told the Pioneer Press. “But it’s a good start. We can leave it at that.”
ZANON OUT: Nashville defenceman Greg Zanon of Burnaby, B.C., will be out of the Nashville Predators’ lineup for at least a week after suffering a slight concussion in colliding with teammate Mikko Lehtonen during a practice drill Friday.
REINPRECHT HURT: Phoenix forward Steven Reinprecht injured a shoulder during the Coyotes’ loss in Nashville on Saturday and coach Wayne Gretzky said he’d be out for at least a month.
EMPTY SEATS: For the first time since 1999, the New York Islanders were unable to sell all tickets available for a home opener. They beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Saturday night with 2,000 unsold tickets going to waste.
LADD LOST: Left-winger Andrew Ladd of Maple Ridge, B.C., was placed on injured reserve Sunday by the Carolina Hurricanes two days after suffering an upper body injury during a 4-3 win at Atlanta. Forwards Ryan Bayda of Saskatoon and Keith Aucoin have been recalled from the AHL team in Albany, N.Y.