Development camp time

Hudson Fasching will be a junior next season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – At 6-foot-2 and 207 pounds with perhaps the broadest shoulders in development camp, Sabres prospect Hudson Fasching looks built for pro hockey at just 19 years old.

But the American, who scored 14 goals as a freshman during the University of Minnesota’s run to the 2014 national championship game, recently announced he will return to the Gophers for his junior season.

Why?

“It was kind of about being an experienced player,” Fasching said Monday inside the First Niagara Center.

The opportunity to …

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Jack Eichel drew fans to development camp Monday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – At around 1:10 p.m. on Monday, most of the 1,000 or so Sabres fans on hand to watch development camp had their eyes focused on the tunnel next to the visiting bench waiting for a glimpse of Jack Eichel.

When the slick center finally touched the First Niagara Center ice for the first time in Sabres gear, the crowd cheered Buffalo’s newest phenom. Cameras snapped photos. Memories were made.

“It was pretty cool,” Eichel said following the first session of …

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Dan Lambert coached the Kelowna Rockets last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – When development camp began Monday, there was an unfamiliar face on the ice putting the Sabres prospects through drills inside the First Niagara Center.

Who was it?

During the first session, the Sabres officially announced Dan Lambert’s hire as the third assistant on coach Dan Bylsma’s staff.

The 45-year-old Lambert coached the Kelowna Rockets last year, leading the junior club to a Western Hockey League championship and a Memorial Cup appearance in his first season following five years as an assistant.

Lambert, …

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Jack Eichel skates this afternoon. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – At around 1:10 p.m., most of the 1,000 or so Sabres fans inside the First Niagara Center had their eyes focused on the tunnel next to the visiting bench waiting for a glimpse of slick center Jack Eichel at development camp.

When Eichel touched the ice for the first time in Sabres gear, the crowd cheered Buffalo’s newest phenom as cameras went off.

“It was pretty cool,” Eichel said following the first session of camp. “It was definitely kind of …

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Carlo Colaiacovo didn't sign a contract until October last year. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Two days after signing a one-year contract with the Sabres, Carlo Colaiacovo hadn’t stopped smiling yet, the defenseman said Sunday.

A year ago, Colaiacovo couldn’t find work. As the summer dragged on, the free agent became uneasy. The stress wore on him.

Colaiacovo eventually decided to bolt to a Russian club in the KHL. But the contract took so long to consummate a one-year-deal with Philadelphia materialized in October before he could leave.

The 32-year-old played sporadically with the Flyers, making …

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Jack Eichel will be the talk of development camp. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The thousands of Sabres fans who visit the First Niagara Center this week to watch the team’s prospects should leave with at least one special, indelible memory. For the first time up close on home ice, they’ll get to see slick center Jack Eichel.

Sure, it’s only a summer development camp. But watching Eichel in Sabres gear just two weeks after he was drafted second overall will likely never be forgotten.

Of course, Eichel will be the focus and talk …

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Ryan O'Reilly's contract kicks in for 2016-17. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – That didn’t take long. A week after the Sabres acquired Ryan O’Reilly in a blockbuster trade with the Colorado Avalanche, they locked up their new No. 1 center with a max deal Friday, a whopping seven-year, $52.5 million contract extension.

It’s the biggest contract in franchise history, surpassing the seven-year, $50 million deal the Sabres gave winger Thomas Vanek in 2007 when they matched the Edmonton Oilers’ offer sheet.

The contract has a creative breakdown. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, …

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Carlo Colaiacovo spent last season in Philadelphia. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres added another left-handed defenseman in free agency today, signing Carlo Colaiacovo to a one-year contract.

The deal is worth $900,000 – an $800,000 base salary and a $100,000 signing bonus – according to CBC’s Tim Wharnsby.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Colaiacovo, the 17th overall pick by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2001, has 33 goals and 152 points in 434 NHL games. He spent last season with the Philadelphia Flyers, compiling two goals and eight points in 33 appearances.

The …

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Ryan O'Reilly was acquired a week ago. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – That didn’t take long. A week after the Sabres acquired Ryan O’Reilly in a blockbuster trade with the Colorado Avalanche, they locked up their new No. 1 center today with a max deal, a whopping seven-year, $52.5 million contract extension.

That’s an average annual value of $7.5 million.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, who tweeted the contract’s value, O’Reilly’s salary will be $1 million per season. The rest will be paid via a yearly signing bonus: $10 million, $8 million, …

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Matt Donovan sat out 70 games last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – Growing up in Oklahoma, Matt Donovan never thought about playing in the NHL, a league far away from Edmond, the Oklahoma City suburb he grew up in. Besides, no one from the Sooner State had ever cracked hockey’s best league.

“Being in Oklahoma, no kid really had that dream,” said Donovan, a defenseman who signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Sabres on Wednesday.

But Donovan was drawn to the game. His father, Larry, a Boston native, operated Blazers Ice …

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