Zach Bogosian grew up in Massena. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Zach Bogosian happy to join Sabres: ‘I heard Buffalo, it was a good feeling’

BUFFALO – The mood on the ice inside HarborCenter belied the Sabres’ sorry state. Players laughed and had fun throughout Saturday’s up-tempo practice, the end of another trying week for the rebuilding club.

For some, the session, the first with new Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian, was therapeutic.

“We got a good group of guys,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. “They give us what they have every day. They’re trying to keep their spirits up as ... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian has played 393 NHL games. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Chris Stewart ill; Zach Bogosian finally practices with Sabres

BUFFALO – OK, relax, Sabres fans. Chris Stewart hasn’t been traded yet. The winger, who will almost certainly be dealt prior to the March 2 trade deadline, missed today’s practice inside HarborCenter because he’s sick, coach Ted Nolan said.

Stewart’s status is unclear for Sunday’s game against Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, defenseman Josh Gorges, who’s dealing with an undisclosed injury that won’t go away, missed the session and will be evaluated by doctors to “see if it’s ... Read the full article

Jason Spezza joined Dallas in the summer. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres coach Lindy Ruff happy to have Jason Spezza with Stars

BUFFALO – Right away, Lindy Ruff and Jason Spezza buried the hatchet. For years, as Ruff coached the Sabres and Spezza starred for the Ottawa Senators, the two were adversaries.

At the height of the fierce post-lockout Sabres-Senators rivalry, Ruff sent Adam Mair on the ice to jump Spezza, a move that helped ignite the infamous 2007 brawl between the teams after Chris Neil leveled Sabres co-captain Chris Drury.

Spezza, who was dealt to Ruff’s ... Read the full article

Nikita Zadorov earned regular duty earlier this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Nikita Zadorov back in; Marcus Foligno could return Sunday

BUFFALO – The Sabres will make one lineup change tonight against the Dallas Stars, inserting 19-year-old defenseman Nikita Zadorov for Andre Benoit.

Zadorov has struggled in recent weeks, becoming a healthy scratch after earning regular duty throughout November and December.

What does Sabres coach Ted Nolan want to see from the Russian?

“With a young defenseman, you just want to make sure you grab those young mistakes real quick, want to make sure they don’t ... Read the full article

Steve Ott played two seasons in Buffalo. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres captain Steve Ott grateful for Buffalo support

BUFFALO – They’re still all over town. Go to a Sabres game, walk around the mall or do some grocery shopping, and you’ll inevitably see someone wearing a No. 9 Steve Ott Sabres jersey.

“Must’ve been on sale when I got traded or something,” Ott joked Thursday prior to the St. Louis Blues’ 3-0 win, his first game in Buffalo since the Sabres dealt him Feb. 28. “I don’t know. Maybe they were just giving ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno (82) will miss his 18th straight game tonight. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Marcus Foligno nearing return; Nikita Zadorov out against Blues

BUFFALO – Before Marcus Foligno broke his hand fighting Boston’s Matt Bartkowski on Dec. 21, the Sabres center was enjoying perhaps the best run of his young career.

Foligno had just been moved to the middle by Sabres coach Ted Nolan. He had a three-game goal streak during the team’s torrid run earlier in December.

Still, Foligno, who could return this weekend, doesn’t want a do-over. Bartkowski hit Sabres captain Brian Gionta high after ... Read the full article

Chris Stewart has been the Sabres' best forward recently. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres know trades will be coming soon

BUFFALO – Ted Nolan’s response raised some eyebrows. Coaches, after all, rarely acknowledge they have players who are ready to leave town.

But Tuesday in Montreal, hours before the Sabres’ 3-2 win ended their 14-game losing streak, Nolan, whose rebuilding club will likely be selling off assets soon, went a step further.

“We got some guys who could be very beneficial to some playoff teams,” Nolan replied when asked if coaching could be tougher because ... Read the full article

Phil Varone only played sparingly Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Phil Varone running out of time to impress Sabres

BUFFALO – In a deep rebuild, with losses and injuries piling up, plenty of jobs on the Sabres are still available.

Heck, the Sabres have had openings throughout the lineup for two years. Sooner or later, someone – a top prospect, an unknown youngster, a waiver acquisition or a depth veteran – has to step up and grab one, right?

Sabres coach Ted Nolan wants the newcomers do something different, stand out and make a ... Read the full article

Mike Weber had knee surgery last month. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres know starts must improve; Mike Weber out against Flyers

BUFFALO – How bad are the Sabres early in games? Really bad.

Opponents have outscored the struggling Sabres 40-15 in the first period and outshot them 493-336 entering tonight’s tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers inside the First Niagara Center. In Thursday’s 7-0 loss to Minnesota, the Wild scored twice and outshot the Sabres 15-3 in the opening period.

“We talk about that all the time going into games, we have to have good starts, let’s ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek scored his eighth goal Thursday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres star Thomas Vanek struggling to score with Wild

BUFFALO – Call it hockey’s worst-kept secret.

Of course, Thomas Vanek couldn’t say anything as he bounced from team to team last season. But the former Sabres star confirmed the suspicions when free agency opened July 1, signing a three-year, $19.5 million contract with the Minnesota Wild.

Vanek, a Minnesota resident and Golden Gophers college hero, wanted to return home.

“Honestly, every time I went out somewhere and got recognized, that was one of the ... Read the full article