Rumors and Tidbits

Ted Nolan will likely be getting a three-year contract from the Buffalo Sabres when they return from their Western Conference road swing, which earns a two-thumbs up from Drew Stafford. “He’s a great motivator; he’s extremely simple on his philosophies,” said Stafford, who has been in Buffalo for eight seasons. “He tells us, ‘Look what you get to do for a living … it’s a special opportunity, don’t take it for granted. Show up and compete for a couple of hours.”

The Sabres may want to buy out winger Ville Leino, who has been a bust with no goals in almost a calendar year, but they might have to keep the Finnish player around to reach the salary-cap floor next season. Leino signed a six-year deal for $24 million as a free agent, but it’s no fun going to work when you’re disappointing people. “The money doesn’t make me feel any better. It’s kind of a dumb excuse to blame the money. Something has to change. Things can’t stay the same year after year,” Leino told the Finnish paper, Helsingin Sanomat.

While the Edmonton Oilers are hot after free-agent U.S. college defenceman Christian Folin (University of Massachusetts at Lowell), so are the Philadelphia Flyers among other teams. “Could he jump right in? Probably on the right team, yeah,” said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. Cue the Oilers, who do not have a deep defence.