Jochen Hecht (front) and Jason Pominville played well together in Germany. ©2013, Soerli Binder, Adler Mannheim

Hecht’s return to Sabres ‘remains a possibility’

BUFFALO – If you think Sabres captain Jason Pominville’s five-goal, 12-point performance during a short seven-game stint with the Mannheim Eagles was impressive, consider what old friend Jochen Hecht, who hadn’t played regularly in nearly a year, accomplished during the same time with the DEL club in Germany.

In his first action since last January, when he suffered what was believed to be his third concussion in 10 months, Hecht compiled five goals ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville posted gaudy numbers in Germany. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres captain Pominville back in Buffalo after short stint overseas

AMHERST – Just hours after returning to Buffalo following a marathon travel day from Germany, Buffalo Sabres captain Jason Pominville was back on the Northtown Center ice this morning, skating with 10 other teammates.

“I wanted to be here,” said Pominville, who left the Mannheim Eagles when the NHL lockout ended Sunday. “I wanted to make sure I get a good sweat. It’s going to be such a short turnaround (before the season) that’s there’s ... Read the full article

Patrick Kaleta enjoyed a special feeling during Monday's skate. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres happy to be prepping for new season

AMHERST – It felt differently, Patrick Kaleta said, nothing like the dozens and dozens of practices the Buffalo Sabres winger had participated in during the 113-day NHL lockout.

On Monday, the day after the NHL and the Players’ Association tentatively reached a new collective bargaining agreement, Kaleta experienced a special feeling as he skated with eight other Sabres inside the Northtown Center.

“It’s just a feeling in my bones, my muscles,” Kaleta said afterwards. ... Read the full article

The Sabres will give Mikhail Grigorenko a look during training camp. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Grigorenko to attend training camp

BUFFALO – Slick prospect Mikhail Grigorenko, the 12th overall pick in June’s NHL Entry Draft, will attend the Sabres’ upcoming training camp, the team confirmed today.

Le Soleil, a newspaper in Quebec City, where Grigorenko plays for the QMJHL’s Remparts, first reported the story.

Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said during the summer the 18-year-old center would be given “every opportunity” to make the NHL. But reports surfaced last month the ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek said players could've had the same deal months ago. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres relieved lockout finally over

AMHERST – For the nine Buffalo Sabres skating inside the Northtown Center this morning, a sense of excitement and relief accompanied their energetic practice, one of the last skates before training camp convenes later this week or early next one.

With a tentative collective bargaining agreement reached early Sunday morning, players are trying to forget about the 113-day NHL lockout and begin prepping for the 2012-13 season.

A swarm of media greeted the players today. ... Read the full article

Steve Ott can't wait to make his Sabres debut. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ott: ‘Time to celebrate that hockey’s back’

BUFFALO – All along, Steve Ott took the optimistic approach. Throughout the 113-day NHL lockout, the Sabres winger believed a season would eventually be played.

Still, when Ott heard Saturday’s marathon bargaining session between the NHL and the Players’ Association could result in the long-awaited agreement, he was “pretty cautious.”

“I didn’t want to get too overly excited because every time it seemed a deal would start gaining some ground the wheels would fall ... Read the full article

Drew Stafford thinks a 48-game schedule would be a grind. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

1994-95 Sabres recall fun and intense 48-game season

BUFFALO – Buckle up, Sabres fans. You could be watching a lot of intense, high-stakes hockey very soon.

If the NHL and the Players’ Association reach a new collective bargaining agreement by next Friday’s deadline, the league will most likely begin a shortened 48-game schedule against conference opponents Jan. 19.

Sure, losing 34 contests from the normal 82-game slate may be disappointing. But the increased importance of each game could make for some wildly entertaining ... Read the full article

Matt Ellis believes players must get their "nose to the grindstone." ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres players ratcheting up workouts as optimism for season increases

AMHERST – For the first time in the NHL’s agonizing 109-day lockout, players “know there could be an end in sight,” Buffalo Sabres forward Matt Ellis said today, “whether we are playing or whether we’re not playing.”

Of course, nothing’s finalized yet, but positive signs are emerging a schedule of 48 games or so could begin later this month. The NHL and the Players’ Association have been tight-lipped as they’ve exchanged detailed proposals over the ... Read the full article

Luke Adam recently reeled off five goals and nine points in eight games. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Luke Adam feeling confident again

BUFFALO – It was a year in the making. During a recent eight-game run, Rochester Americans forward Luke Adam morphed into a dynamic presence again, using his 6-foot-2, 206-pound frame to dominate down low.

Adam compiled five goals – he had only six in his first 44 games with the Amerks dating back to last season – and nine points, including scores in four straight. He was tough on pucks, won battles and got to ... Read the full article

T.J. Brennan already has 12 goals this season. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Amerks’ T.J. Brennan making strong case to stick with Sabres

BUFFALO – In the coming weeks, if the NHL and the Players’ Association hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement, the Sabres will convene for an abbreviated training camp and begin molding a six-man defense corps from a stacked group that stretches more than 10 deep.

The Sabres boast eight NHL defensemen after acquiring Adam Pardy from Dallas this summer. Eleven defenders in the organization appeared in the big leagues last season, including T.J. Brennan, ... Read the full article