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Black

Joe Battista joined the Sabres in November 2013. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Joe Battista, the Sabres’ vice president for hockey-related business, will be leaving the organization in the coming weeks.

The move had been in the works “for a long period of time,” a team spokesman said. Battista will be returning to his family in State College, Pa.

Battista is the second high-profile front office member to leave the team in the last week. The Sabres hired Buffalo Bills president Russ Brandon last Monday when former president Ted Black and the team …

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Forme Sabres president Ted Black (right) sits at the team's draft table last month with scout Jerry Forton. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – On Russ Brandon’s drive to the rink to discuss his new role as Sabres president and alternate governor, a job he was awarded Monday in addition to his gig as managing partner and president of the Buffalo Bills, he reflected back to a year ago, when the NFL club’s future here was shaky.

Back then, Brandon was focused on finding a viable owner for the Bills. Terry and Kim Pegula’s interest in the team, which they eventually bought for …

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Ted Black joined the Sabres in 2011. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres today named Russ Brandon team president and announced former president Ted Black and the organization had “mutually agreed to part ways.”

Brandon, the managing partner and president of the Buffalo Bills, a team also owned by Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula, will oversee all aspects of the business operations for both teams and report directly to the Pegulas.

“Since we purchased the Buffalo Bills last October, we have been highly impressed with the business acumen that Russ …

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Dan Bylsma's team has 10 afternoon home games. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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SUNRISE, Fla. – If slick center Jack Eichel joins the NHL next season, Buffalo fans will get a long look at the second overall pick October. The Sabres open the season with three straight home games for the first time in 40 years.

That’s just one highlight of the 2015-16 schedule the NHL released Thursday.

Six of the opening eight games are at the First Niagara Center, so Eichel, the phenom the Sabres will select tonight at the NHL Draft, could get …

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The Sabres will select Jack Eichel second overall Friday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Jack Eichel’s close to deciding whether to turn pro and join the Buffalo Sabres or return to Boston University. In fact, don’t be surprised if the 18-year-old center announces his decision Friday night at the podium after he’s selected second overall at the NHL Draft inside the BB&T Center.

Heck, Eichel sounded ready to share his decision tonight during a pre-draft news conference. He’s clearly tired of the speculation and wants it to end.

“I think I’m a …

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Ted Black speaks Thursday inside HarborCenter. ©2015, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – As Sabres president Ted Black chatted with the media Thursday inside HarborCenter, the buildings and streets outside the team’s new $170 million multi-rink facility bustled with activity on a sunny spring day.

Team officials and prospects in the city for the NHL Scouting Combine were all over, walking from a new hotel, restaurants and the Canalside developments to the First Niagara Center and HarborCenter.

“I’ve only been here four years,” Black said. “When people say, ‘Nothing ever happens in Buffalo,’ …

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