Nathan Beaulieu spent four years in Montreal. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres re-sign Nathan Beaulieu to two-year contract

BUFFALO – The Sabres have re-signed defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to a two-year, $4.8 million contract, the team announced today.

Beaulieu, a restricted free agent, had an arbitration hearing scheduled for Friday.

With Beaulieu’s deal done, the Sabres only have one unsigned RFA, forward Zemgus Girgensons.

The Sabres acquired Beaulieu, 24, from the Montreal Canadiens on June 17 for a 2017 third-round pick.

Beaulieu has played 225 NHL games over four seasons, compiling seven goals, ... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues (71) tries to grab the puck between Philadelphia's Nick Cousins and Valtteri Filppula on March 7. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres re-sign Evan Rodrigues to two-year contract

BUFFALO – The Sabres have re-signed forward Evan Rodrigues to a two-year, $1.3 million contract, the team announced this afternoon.

With Rodrigues locked up, the Sabres have two unsigned restricted free agents: defenseman Nathan Beaulieu and forward Zemgus Girgensons.

Rodrigues, who turns 24 on Friday, enjoyed a breakout campaign as a center last season, playing regularly with the Sabres for the final two months. In 30 NHL games, the Boston University product compiled four goals ... 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

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

Davis Payne most recently spent time with Los Angeles. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres hire Davis Payne as associate coach

BUFFALO – The Sabres have hired Davis Payne as the associate coach on new head coach Phil Housley’s staff, the team announced today.

In Payne, Housley, who has never been an NHL head coach, has a top assistant with NHL head coaching experience. Payne led the St. Louis Blues over three seasons from 2009 to 2011.

The 46-year-old most recently served as an assistant with the Los Angeles Kings for five seasons, winning a Stanley ... Read the full article

Marco Scandella can move the puck. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres add missing defense piece in Marco Scandella

BUFFALO – NHL general managers, the Sabres’ Jason Botterill said, are “very greedy.”

“You always want to have more defense out there,” Botterill said Friday after after acquiring defenseman Marco Scandella and bringing back former captain Jason Pominville from the Minnesota Wild for wingers Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno.... Read the full article

Chad Johnson spent last season in Calgary. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres face challenges adding talent in free agency

BUFFALO – For a team fresh off a last-place finish, the Sabres have a high number of contracts, including a few bloated ones, in place for next season.

Counting restricted free agents expected to be back, the Sabres already have about 19 players who could be regulars in 2017-18. Veterans Zach Bogosian, Josh Gorges and Matt Moulson combine for more than $14 million of salary cap space.

Bad teams usually don’t approach the cap, but ... Read the full article

Taylor Fedun played 27 NHL games last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres sign Taylor Fedun to two-year contract

BUFFALO – The Sabres added defense depth today, re-signing Taylor Fedun to a two-year, two-way contract.

The 29-year-old could’ve become an unrestricted free agent Saturday.

Fedun split last season between the NHL and AHL, compiling career-high seven assists and seven points in 27 games, all career highs.

The Princeton product also had five goals and 23 points in 29 appearances with the Rochester Americans.

Fedun showcased some of his offensive prowess on the power play ... Read the full article

Cal Petersen can pick his own team soon. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Goalie prospect Cal Petersen to pass on Sabres

CHICAGO – Forget about former Notre Dame goalie Cal Petersen joining the Buffalo Sabres. The 22-year-old prospect, who left school last month, will elect for free agency, general manager Jason Botterill said Friday morning.

“I don’t believe he’ll be signing with the Buffalo Sabres,” Botterill said hours before the first round of the NHL Draft.... Read the full article

Phil Housley is assembling a staff. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Andrew Allen still with Sabres; Phil Housley assembling staff

CHICAGO – For now, goalie coach Andrew Allen is still with the Buffalo Sabres. General manager Jason Botterill wants to keep the lone holdover from former coach Dan Bylsma’s staff. That decision, however, will be left up to new coach Phil Housley.

“It’s a situation where we’re very excited about Andrew,” Botterill said this morning prior to the NHL Draft. “My plan has always been to work with Andrew. It’s a scenario where Phil and ... Read the full article