Robin Lehner played in a career-high 59 games last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres sign goalie Robin Lehner to one-year contract

BUFFALO – The Sabres have avoided arbitration with Robin Lehner, signing the starting goalie to a one-year, $4 million contract, the team announced this morning.

Lehner, a restricted free agent, had an arbitration hearing scheduled for Thursday.

Not surprisingly, with a new regime and Lehner light on experience as a No. 1 goalie, the Sabres went with a short-term deal. Lehner will be an RFA again next year.

In his first full season as ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo (21) participated in Brian Gionta's 1,000th game ceremony prior to his last appearance in March. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo says concussion led to absence

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo said he’s fully healthy and ready to play again after a concussion he suffered in March left him hospitalized in intensive care.

In a letter to fans posted on the team’s website, Okposo said an innocent hit during practice late last season eventually forced him to be admitted to the neuro surgical unit at Buffalo General Hospital.... Read the full article

Brett Murray joined Penn State for the second semester. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Brett Murray happy at Penn State

BUFFALO – In early January, as the upstart Penn State men’s hockey team vaulted up the USCHO poll to the brink of a No. 1 national ranking, the Nittany Lions welcomed a new player, Sabres prospect Brett Murray.

Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky wondered how the NCAA freshman would assimilate to a team enjoying its best season ever.

“For a freshman to come in halfway through the season, I think could be, if the guy ... Read the full article

Stevie Moses played for seasons at the University of New Hampshire. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Amerks sign former KHL goal leader Stevie Moses

The Rochester Americans have added a top European league scorer, signing Stevie Moses to a one-year AHL contract, the team announced today.

Moses, 27, scored a KHL-record 36 goals in 60 games with Jokerit Helsinki in 2014-15, a breakout season that earned the Massachusetts native a one-year, $1 million contract from the Nashville Predators. Moses, however, never played for the club and was placed on unconditional waivers after only 16 AHL appearances.

Moses returned to ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo missed the end of last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo returns to ice

Buffalo Sabres winger Kyle Okposo, who was reportedly hospitalized late last season in the neuro surgical intensive care unit at Buffalo General Hospital, played in an informal summer league game Wednesday in Minnesota, his first notable action in months.

Okposo, 29, missed the final six games of 2016-17, his first season with the Sabres after signing a seven-year, $42 million contract. He paid immediate dividends, compiling 19 goals and 45 points in 65 appearances.... Read the full article

Brian Gionta is a free agent. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Brian Gionta likely won’t return to Sabres

BUFFALO – The chances of veteran winger Brian Gionta returning to the Sabres for his 16th NHL season “are pretty remote,” his agent said today.

“While we haven’t slammed the door – and I don’t think they have, either – I think they’ve also been pretty honest that it’s probably going to be a fairly unlikely scenario,” Steve Bartlett told the Times Herald. “So I’ve been focusing on trying to look at other opportunities for ... Read the full article

Phil Housley knows the Hajt family well. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres hire Chris Hajt as assistant coach

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ newest assistant coach has a familiar name. Chris Hajt has been named to coach Phil Housley’s staff, the team announced today.

The Buffalo-raised Hajt is the son of Sabres Hall of Famer Bill Hajt, one of greatest defensemen in franchise history.

The younger Hajt, 39, spent the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Kings’ AHL affiliates, the Ontario Reign and Manchester Monarchs, winning a Calder Cup in 2015 Hajt ... Read the full article

Marcus Davidsson stayed at home for the NHL Draft. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Marcus Davidsson wishes he attended NHL Draft

BUFFALO – If Marcus Davidsson had known he would be selected so early – the Sabres grabbed the center in the second round, 37th overall – then he would’ve attended the NHL Draft last month in Chicago.

Instead, Davidsson, 18, followed the draft at home in Sweden with his family and friends.... Read the full article

Phil Housley likes Marco Scandella's talents. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Phil Housley likes defense, plans to lean on Marco Scandella

BUFFALO – In a two-week span last month, general manager Jason Botterill addressed the Sabres’ most glaring weakness by acquiring defensemen Nathan Beaulieu and Marco Scandella.

Is either player elite? Hardly. Still, as puck-moving defenders, Beaulieu and Scandella offer talents the Sabres sorely lacked last season and add some much-needed depth.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel could have a new deal soon. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill optimistic about Jack Eichel’s contract extension

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill spoke optimistically this morning about young star Jack Eichel signing a contract extension in the near future.

“Our conversations with Jack and the group have gone extremely well,” Botterill said inside HarborCenter following the close of development camp. “We’ll continue those throughout the summer here and stuff to see if we can find a common ground. From our standpoint, we certainly want to get something done, and from ... Read the full article