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Positional battles abound as training camp approaches for Bills
By Charles Roberts
With a new coaching staff in place – including head coach Rex Ryan, offensive coordinator Greg Roman and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman – and a roster loaded with new names on the offensive side of the ball, there’s certainly a number of questions as the team heads to camp on July 31 in Pittsford, N.Y.

Draft day haul for Buffalo Sabres
By George Kuhn
As expected, the Buffalo Sabre’s selected Jack Eichel with their first round pick, second overall, in the NHL’s 2015 Entry Draft. While the rest of the NHL is fawning over Connor McDavid, the Edmonton Oilers choice at first overall, Buffalo is focused on Eichel as the franchise player the team has waited for over the past two seasons.

Chicago Blackhawks bring home another Stanley Cup championship
By Jeffrey S. Levine
Hours before the final horn sounded on game six of the Stanley Cup Final, sirens were already blaring across Chicago.
With a tornado warning in effect, heavy rains pouring down and over a foot of water pooling under viaducts on some of the city’s busiest roads, the United Center was eerily calm as fans waited for the puck to drop on this decisive game.

Ryan O’Reilly in, enigmatic Russians out in blockbuster deal
By George Kuhn
Sabres general manager Tim Murray has earned a reputation for having a no-nonsense attitude towards his responsibilities as an NHL GM. He solidified that reputation by clearing enigmatic Russian players Nikia Zadorov and Mikael Grigorenko out of the organization in acquiring center Ryan O’Reilly. The Russians were traded along with the prospect J.T. Compher and the 31st pick in the 2015 draft for O’Reilly and left winger Jamie McGinn.

Trading for Wayne Gretzky
By George Kuhn
The Sabres recent acquisition of Ryan O’Reilly was a classic draft weekend blockbuster trade.
Sometimes blockbuster deals are made on the floor on draft day, such as the1999 draft where Brian Burke orchestrated a complex series of trades so the Canucks could land the Sedin twins with the second and third overall choices. But the greatest potential draft gamble of all time began in 1976, took four years to unfold and involved the rights to Wanye Gretzky, arguably the greatest scorer the game has ever seen.

Fantasy football: Question and Answer time
By Leonard J. Mytko
Each and every season presents a new host of questions that you have to answer for yourself before you start drafting your team. Check inside this month’s Sports & Leisure Magazine for 10 questions to start mulling over until then.

Fantasy baseball
By Mike Fox
It was only 15 years ago that baseball purists began complaining that juiced baseballs were the reason that final game scores often resembled those of a typical NFL game. Since then, of course, we’ve learned it was the players themselves that were juiced, and MLB’s increasingly-stringent crackdown on performance-enhancing drugs has left us with final game scores that now instead resemble those of a typical NHL game.  As recently as 2010, 12 MLB teams totaled 750 or more runs. At the halfway point of this year, every team that plays their home games south of the US-Canada border is on pace to score fewer than 750, with only the Blue Jays apparently unaffected by this irrefutable trend. Welcome to the new Golden Age of Pitching.

As official scorer, the buck stops with Kevin Lester (Buffalo edition)
By Joe Kirchmyer
Baseball has been a big part of Kevin Lester’s life for a very long time. He’s played it, coached it and has worked as a professional scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals. He served as bullpen catcher for the Buffalo Bisons for a handful of years and even appeared in the movie “The Natural” as a member of the New York Knights. And since 1986 he’s served as official scorer for The Herd.

Daniel Norris just keeps livin’
By Charles Roberts
Alan Barraclaugh doesn’t have much by way of wallet, but he certainly doesn’t lack in heart. At least that’s the impression he left on one Buffalo photographer who also happens to be the top prospect in the Blue Jays Organization.

Buffalo Beauts prepare for historic first season
By Dave Ricci
There’s a new league in town and the Buffalo Beauts look to have a well-balanced team as they continue to recruit players prior to their Oct. 11 puck drop at the HARBORCENTER.

Wambach and Lloyd help bring home Women’s World Cup
By Paul Gotham
On July 5, the United States Women’s National Team hoisted the 2015 World Cup, and Western New York fingerprints dotted soccer’s most prized trophy. From Rochester native Abby Wambach to Western New York Flash former and current players Carli Lloyd and Sydney Leroux, the region’s contributions are undeniable: Wambach added the only missing trophy in her case; Lloyd set a new standard for offensive production; and Leroux gave glimpses of the future.

Jack Eichel buzz reminiscent of the formation of the Sabres
By Randy Krolewicz
The 1999 and 2007 Stanley Cup playoff runs are imprinted on the minds of Sabres fan as exciting but disappointing times. It is easy to understand why there is so much buzz about Jack Eichel joining Evander Kane, Tyler Ennis, Zemgus Girgensons, Brian Gionta and the rest of the young and promising Sabres. Back in 1970, there was just as much buzz about the new expansion Sabres, with Topps and OPC sets to commemorate the inaugural year.

A different kind of sport
By Landin Murphy
Summer often means nice weather and plenty of food, either off the grill or from a picnic basket, but some people are taking that abundance to an entirely different level.
Whether it’s at local contests like the National Wing Eating Contest, the nationally televised Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest or simple individual-based food challenges, extreme eating is growing as a global phenomenon.

Mid-Summer fishing dreams come true
By Rich Davenport
With all seasons open, WNY anglers look forward to mid-summer fishing. Find out more inside this month’s edition of Doctari’s Fishing Forum.

FootGolf taking hold in WNY
By Anthony Fiorello
Most people in the United States think of football, hockey, baseball and basketball as the four major leagues but others, such as soccer and golf are starting to edge their way onto the radar. Then there’s FootGolf.
Wait, FootGolf?
A combination of soccer and golf, FootGolf is one of the country’s fastest growing sports and quite simple to play.

For health and happiness immerse yourself in nature
By Landin Murphy
Sometimes life can feel like a rat race; an overwhelming, stress-filled existence in which there just aren’t enough hours in the day. While it may feel like the answer to this is to shift into overdrive to try and catch up, it’s important to do the exact opposite by slowing down, taking a step back and truly experiencing a moment.

Victor boys NYSPHSAA Class B Lacrosse State Champions (Rochester edition)
By Paul ‘Mr. NFL’ Adamo
The Victor Blue Devils lacrosse team goes undefeated and completes a dominating season, winning a state championship under Coach Jim Andre.

Boxing and double bass
By Mike Sorenson
Boxing and double bass may not appear to have much in common but Eastman School of Music professor James VanDemark proves that the same rhythms, dedication and attention to detail permeate both disciplines.

Local boxing happenings
By Bob Caico
See who won, who lost and who was inducted into Ring 44’s Hall of Fame in this edition’s installment of local boxing.

WNY’s top reinsman: Kevin Cummings
By Mark Patrick Harzynski Sr.
As live harness racing is winding down in Hamburg, Kevin Cummings has hit another gear and appears to be going into overdrive.

Commentary

Laziness and malfeasance: Why New York Hasn’t legalized MMA
By Ivan Godzuk
Mixed Martial Arts are legal in 49 states. Not surprisingly, New York is the lone holdout, even though legislation has been
introduced for the last six years. Why the hold up? Is it because some politicians are holding people up?
We’ll delve into the matter in this month’s issue.

PRO WRESTLING HALL OF FAME: 2015 INDUCTION
By Ivan the Impaler
We attended the 14th annual induction ceremonies for the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame. The hall is in Amsterdam, NY and would make a great summer getaway for fans of Our Great Sport. Read about it in this edition!