Brendan Hickey feels comfortable in Buffalo. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Brandon Hickey ready for preseason debut

BUFFALO – When Sabres defenseman Brandon Hickey received word he would be playing in tonight’s preseason opener, he said a “whole bunch of anxious energy” started running through his body.

“It’s my first taste of pro hockey,” Hickey said this morning. “I’ve been looking forward to this my whole life. I’m pretty excited to get things going tonight.”

Hickey, 22, is a bit old for a rookie. Despite being picked by the Calgary Flames in ... Read the full article

Johan Larsson is one of the longest-tenured Sabres. ©2018, Hickling Images

Poor season forced Sabres’ Johan Larsson to change

BUFFALO – Instead of talking about Johan Larsson’s rough season, Sabres coach Phil Housley chose to praise the Swedish center for the transformations he has made.

Larsson struggled mightily in 2017-18, enduring his worst NHL campaign. How bad was he? His wretched minus-30 was the fourth-worst rating among NHL forwards. He scored two of his career-low four goals into empty nets.

But Larsson, 26, accepted Housley and general manager Jason Botterill’s challenge to change ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner could've vetoed a trade to the Sabres. ©2018, Hickling Images

Young talent helped convince Jeff Skinner to join Sabres

BUFFALO – Having a no-trade clause attached to his six-year, $34.35 million contract meant Jeff Skinner controlled his future. The Sabres’ newest player could veto a deal and wait until the Carolina Hurricanes and his agent found him a new team he liked.

While Skinner denied he turned down any offers before the Sabres materialized, reports and the timing of his trade – high-profile NHL deals rarely transpire in August – suggest otherwise.... Read the full article

Tage Thompson attended nine schools growing up. ©2018, Hickling Images

Nomadic childhood helped prepare Sabres’ Tage Thompson for NHL life

BUFFALO – Tage Thompson leaves the counting to his mother, Kim. The new Sabres winger can’t tally the exact number of places he has lived. He just knows he moved around a lot growing up because of his father’s playing and coaching career.

“Honestly, I don’t know,” said Thompson, who was acquired in Sunday’s blockbuster Ryan O’Reilly trade with the St. Louis Blues. “I know my mom’s tried to do the math.”... Read the full article

Tage Thompson moved around a lot growing up. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres present special opportunity for Tage Thompson

BUFFALO – Tage Thompson leaves the counting to his mother, Kim. The new Sabres winger can’t tally the exact number of places he has lived. He just knows he moved around a lot growing up because of his father’s playing and coaching career.

“Honestly, I don’t know,” said Thompson, who was acquired in Sunday’s blockbuster Ryan O’Reilly trade with the St. Louis Blues. “I know my mom’s tried to do the math.”... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly's departure leaves a big hole in the Sabres' lineup. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres GM Jason Botterill: Ryan O’Reilly didn’t need change of scenery

BUFFALO – Jason Botterill indicated months ago, long before he traded center Ryan O’Reilly to the St. Louis Blues, a significant move was needed to shake up the Sabres.

The Sabres’ wretched 31st-place finish embarrassed Botterill and the entire organization. The general manager knew the group he had wasn’t working.

“We felt that in our meetings at the end of our season as a management group, we had to change the dynamic,” Botterill said on ... Read the full article