Brian Gionta retired Monday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Former Sabres captain Brian Gionta helped change hockey

BUFFALO – Twenty years ago, diminutive players like Brian Gionta – the ones teams list at, say, 5-foot-9 but are clearly much smaller – rarely received a chance in the NHL.

Sure, once in a while an undersized talent would break through. But for the most part, the league coveted size.

Then in the early 2000s, a few small forwards – Gionta, Daniel Briere and Martin St. Louis – started seizing their chances and morphing ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons had a 15-goal season in 2014-15. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons settles into checking role

BUFFALO – Considering the Sabres drafted Zemgus Girgensons 14th overall and the scoring prowess he once showcased, the forward’s last few seasons could be considered disappointing.

Girgensons scored 15 goals in 61 games in 2014-15, the same season rabid fans in his native Latvia voted him into the NHL All-Star Game.

But that career-high goal total is deceiving. Girgensons, 24, skated on the first line much of his second NHL campaign. In an otherwise dreary ... Read the full article

Brian Gionta helped out the Sabres during their development camp in June. ©2018, Hickling Images

Former Sabres captain Brian Gionta helped change NHL with size

BUFFALO – Twenty years ago, diminutive players like Brian Gionta – the ones teams list at, say, 5-foot-9 but are clearly much smaller – rarely received a chance in the NHL.

Sure, once in a while an undersized talent would break through. But for the most part, the league coveted size.

Then in the early 2000s, a few small forwards – Gionta, Daniel Briere and Martin St. Louis – started seizing their chances and morphing ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin made a few gaffes Saturday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres rookie Rasmus Dahlin brushes off mistakes

BUFFALO – In his second NHL preseason game, rookie Rasmus Dahlin endured a few rocky moments, committing some notable turnovers in the Sabres’ 3-2 loss.

If the gaffes rattled Dahlin, 18, you couldn’t tell. That of, course, is hardly surprising.

Amid all the hype surrounding him, the Swedish defenseman keeps showcasing a maturity that belies his young age.... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian is beginning his 11th NHL season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Zach Bogosian believes he has ‘whole new level to bring’

BUFFALO – Since the Sabres are off today, defenseman Zach Bogosian plans to enjoy some tranquility and go fishing, one of his passions away from the rink.

Bogosian, who loves bass fishing, said he finds a special peace in himself surrounded by the quietness on the water.

“I get away from everything, everyone,” Bogosian said prior to Saturday’s 3-2 preseason loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs inside KeyBank Center, his first game action since Jan. ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart ended his holdout Wednesday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Tage Thompson promoted; Zach Bogosian, Sam Reinhart to debut

BUFFALO – Instead of utilizing Sam Reinhart or Kyle Okposo at right wing on the No. 1 line tonight, Sabres coach Phil Housley will give youngster Tage Thompson a look beside center Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner.

Thompson, 20, scored a nifty goal in Friday’s 5-3 loss in Toronto, carrying the puck into the zone before toe-dragging and unleashing a wicked wrist shot from the right circle.

“I really liked what he brought to ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark looked sharp as Friday's game progressed. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres implode early, rally in loss to Maple Leafs

TORONTO – Following a three-year AHL apprenticeship, the Sabres expect goalie Linus Ullmark to play around 30 games this season as their new backup.

So watching the Maple Leafs score on their first two shots and three of their first eight in the opening 3:42 of Friday’s preseason tilt had to be concerning.

Then Ullmark, 25, settled down nicely after the Sabres, who opened the scoring 30 seconds in, fell behind 3-1. Over the final ... Read the full article

Alexander has enjoyed a strong training camp. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Alexander Nylander enjoying strong camp

BUFFALO – Coaches regularly jumble their preseason line combinations as they evaluate talent and move players in and out. What you see during exhibition games usually doesn’t stick together for the regular season.

Still, one intriguing trio the Sabres will utilize tonight could remain intact.

This morning inside KeyBank Center, coach Phil Housley assembled three first-round picks – center Casey Mittelstadt and Alexander Nylander and Tage Thompson – for the Sabres’ road tilt against the ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart missed the first five days of training camp. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sam Reinhart practices, happy to be back with Sabres

BUFFALO – Sam Reinhart’s short time back in Vancouver tested his patience, even made the Sabres winger miserable.

Sitting at home as a contract holdout can do that, especially when your teammates start a training camp filled with so much optimism.

“It was probably one of the most challenging week and a halves that I’ve been a part of,” Reinhart said following Thursday’s session of training camp.

By Tuesday night, as the Sabres played an ... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian sat out practice earlier this week. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Zach Bogosian being eased along after hip surgery

BUFFALO – The Sabres have a plan for Zach Bogosian. Instead of throwing the oft-injured defenseman right into the fray, they’re easing him into training camp.

Bogosian, 28, underwent hip surgery last winter and hasn’t played a game Jan. 9. So the Sabres held him out of practice earlier this week before letting him skate on his own.

Bogosian practiced with his teammates again Thursday inside HarborCenter.... Read the full article