Auston Matthews scored 40 goals as a rookie last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres won’t see Leafs for months after weekend set

BUFFALO – How this for a scheduling quirk? After this weekend’s home-and-home preseason set with the Maple Leafs – the Sabres play tonight in Toronto – the fierce rivals don’t meet again until March 5.

“It’s crazy,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “When I looked at the schedule, here’s one of the rivals in our division, we’re not going to see them until March. Hopefully, they’re going to be real ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville returned to the Sabres on June 30. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jason Pominville ready for first game back

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Jason Pominville, of course, knew center Jack Eichel possessed lethal speed.

“From zero to 60 pretty quick,” Pominville said after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s preseason tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Penn State.

But in his first days back with the Sabres, Pominville has also seen the other ways Eichel’s dynamic talents allow him to dictate the play.... Read the full article

Seth Griffith has been a dynamic AHL player. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

AHL star Seth Griffith focused on sticking with Sabres

BUFFALO – A season ago, as Seth Griffith bounced around the Atlantic Division, getting waived and claimed three times in a three-month span, the Sabres winger lived a nomadic life out of a suitcase.

Griffith, a stud AHL scorer with 58 games of NHL experience, never settled down, spending time in Boston, Toronto (twice) and Florida.

So after a long day at the rink or a road trip, Griffith couldn’t simply go home and unwind.... Read the full article

Jason Botterill wants youngsters to push for spots. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill expects prospects to battle for roster spots

BUFFALO – Right now, just one day before the Sabres open training camp, veterans and established youngsters seemingly take up every roster spot for the upcoming season.

Counting returning regulars and offseason additions, the Sabres have 13 forwards and seven defensemen, more than a full lineup.

So what about the prospects? Could some force themselves onto the roster?... Read the full article

Nick Baptiste played his first 14 NHL games last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Confident Nick Baptiste ready to crack Sabres for good

BUFFALO – Nick Baptiste sounds different this year, more confident in his abilities. The high-scoring winger talks openly about making the Sabres out of training camp.

A breakout AHL season can do that. So can earning your first 14 NHL games.... Read the full article

The Sabres invited Colin Blackwell to rookie camp. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Harvard graduate Colin Blackwell impressing Sabres

BUFFALO – As a Harvard graduate, Sabres prospect Colin Blackwell hears it all the time.

“Especially when you don’t have a job come Sept. 1,” the center said Saturday prior to registering an assist in the Sabres’ entertaining 7-4 win against the Boston Bruins in the Prospects Challenge.

Blackwell, 24, is often encouraged to look for work outside of hockey. He studied government and physiology at the prestigious university.... Read the full article

Hudson Fasching missed three months last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Hudson Fasching ready for fresh start

BUFFALO – In a way, Sabres winger Hudson Fasching is grateful for the groin injury he suffered early last season. No, the prospect isn’t happy a three-month absence derailed his promising rookie campaign.

But Fasching, 22, believes handling his first significant injury toughened him up.

“It was a learning year, learning experience,” Fasching said Friday prior to the Sabres’ 4-3 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils in the opener of the Prospects Challenge rookie ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner signed a one-year contract in July. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner not out to prove himself

BUFFALO – Robin Lehner’s agents kept telling him to take a one-year contract. After all, the Sabres goalie could parlay another strong season into a lucrative long-term deal.

But fresh off a campaign in which Lehner established himself as the Sabres’ starter and posted the NHL’s 10th-highest save percentage, he wanted a long contract right away.... Read the full article

Randy Sexton talks Saturday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres assistant GM Randy Sexton passionate about new job

BUFFALO – After Randy Sexton completed his duties with the Pittsburgh Penguins last month, the veteran executive caught an early flight from the NHL Draft in Chicago to begin his job as one of the Sabres’ new assistant general managers.

Just weeks after winning his second straight Stanley Cup, Sexton was leaving a strong gig as Pittsburgh’s director of amateur scouting. Still, the opportunity to work with his friend, new Sabres GM Jason Botterill, ... Read the full article

Brendan Guhle is the Sabres' top defense prospect. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Brendan Guhle, other Sabres prospects must prove themselves

BUFFALO – As Brendan Guhle watched the Nashville Predators’ recent run to the Stanley Cup final, the Sabres prospect developed an appreciation for their dynamic defense corps, a group coached by Phil Housley.

So when the Sabres named Housley, a Hall of Fame defenseman, head coach June 15, Guhle said he was “pretty excited.”... Read the full article