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Connor McDavid is hockey's biggest prospect in 10 years. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

TORONTO – Whether the Buffalo Sabres win the right to draft mega-prospect Connor McDavid or settle for the second pick tonight, the rebuilding team will emerge victorious from the most anticipated NHL Draft Lottery ever.

Leaving town with Jack Eichel, the consensus No. 2 selection, in your arsenal for years to come wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize, right?

“You look at what the Sabres had in the pipeline, when you add a player like McDavid or Eichel, it changes your franchise …

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Zach Bogosian battles with Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby (87) on Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – The roughest season in the Sabres’ 45-year history is finally over, a 2-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday capping an 82-game slate that was tumultuous from start to finish.

The outcome, of course, hardly mattered. The rebuilding Sabres, who never quit throughout the campaign, had already locked up 30th place and either the first or second draft pick in next Saturday’s draft lottery.

The season finale was about regaining some normalcy, hearing some of those Sabres fans who …

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The Sabres acquired Zach Bogosian on Feb. 11. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Zach Bogosian slipped into town under the radar last month. High-scoring winger Evander Kane and ace defenseman Tyler Myers garnered most of the attention in the Sabres’ blockbuster trade with the Winnipeg Jets, allowing the defenseman, the No. 3 pick in 2008, to quietly adjust to his new team.

“It’s kind of how I like it,” Bogosian said Thursday following practice inside the First Niagara Center. “I wanted to come here and work hard, show my worth to the …

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Gary Bettman speaks to the media Monday. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
4

BUFFALO – The Sabres officially have the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. They plan to bid on an NHL All-Star game. The team has already secured the league’s scouting combine for the next two years.

Hmmm, what other big event could be in the works?

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said owner Terry Pegula and his wife, Kim, mentioned Monday the Sabres would be interested in hosting another outdoor game.

The Sabres had the first Winter Classic in 2008 at Ralph Wilson Stadium, a venue …

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Terry Pegula's passion struck a chord with Sabres fans. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

To a certain degree, the euphoria sweeping through Western New York today was felt once before, on Feb. 22, 2011, when Terry Pegula was introduced as the Sabres’ fourth owner.

Of course, Pegula’s reported purchase of the Buffalo Bills is much different.

While the Sabres weren’t in danger of moving, there was a feeling he had rescued the franchise. With the Sabres among the NHL’s bottom-feeders, it’s easy to forget now, but that day was among the most emotional sports days in …

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Connor McDavid will likely be drafted No. 1 next year. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

For one night at least, Connor McDavid, the top 2015 NHL draft prospect, is coming to Buffalo.

The Sabres announced this afternoon the team will be a hosting an Ontario Hockey League game with the Erie Otters, McDavid’s club, at the First Niagara Center next season.

Of course, Sabres fans want more than a glimpse of McDavid, the slick 17-year-old sensation many regard as the best prospect since Sidney Crosby. But given the slew of signings the Sabres made earlier this summer, …

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Ted Black (left) and Colin Campbell talk Monday. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – To Colin Campbell, who’s spent his life in hockey as a player, coach and executive, this city has a special place in the game.

“Buffalo, for a lot of hockey people, is almost like an Original Six team,” Campbell, the senior executive vice president of NHL Hockey Operations, said Monday in announcing the Sabres had landed the NHL Scouting Combine. “It’s been here for a long time, a lot of history here and a lot of things have happened …

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Colin Campbell speaks this afternoon. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Before the NHL Scouting Combine could move here, commissioner Gary Bettman told Colin Campbell, one of his top lieutenants, the league had to allow all 30 teams a crack at the event

“We had a lot of interest,” Campbell, the senior executive vice president of NHL Hockey Operations, said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center.

Eventually, the NHL whittled its list down to two cities, Buffalo and Pittsburgh.

“Buffalo was heads and tails above everyone else,” Campbell said during a …

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Sabres prospect Sam Reinhart attended the NHL Scouting Combine in May. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres have a “major announcement” planned for Monday afternoon, and multiple outlets are reporting the team has secured an agreement to host the NHL Scouting Combine next year.

The team bid on the combine earlier this year. The new Harbor Center facility, which opens this fall, would be the site.

Colin Campbell, the senior executive vice president of NHL Hockey Operations, will be attending the news conference. So will Sabres president Ted Black, Harbor Center president John Koelmen and …

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Ted Black said the price increase will help the Sabres qualify for revenue sharing. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

Fresh off a tumultuous year in which they finished dead last in the NHL, the Buffalo Sabres will raise season-ticket prices 4 percent for next season, the club announced today.

The increase, the same as last year, is about $1 to $4 a game, depending on seat location.

In a statement, president Ted Black thanked fans for their patience “through a challenging season” and said the Sabres need to balance affordability “against the opportunity to qualify for the league revenue sharing.”

Starting this …

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