Cody Franson wanted a contract longer than a year. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Cody Franson excited for fresh opportunity with Sabres

BUFFALO – After signing three straight one-year contracts, Cody Franson figured he could finally land a multi-year deal in free agency this summer and enjoy some job security. After all, the new Sabres defenseman has quietly scored 97 points in the last three years, including a career-high 36 last season.

Franson’s camp talked to some teams at the NHL Draft and again early after the market opened July 1. But within days, teams stopped calling. ... Read the full article

Cody Franson had a career-high 36 points last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Report: Sabres set to sign defenseman Cody Franson; Update: Buffalo announces contract

BUFFALO – Free agent defenseman Cody Franson will likely sign a two-year deal with the Sabres on Thursday worth about $3.3 million a season, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Update: The Sabres announced the contract Thursday morning. The deal is worth $3.325 million a season, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

Sabres general manager Tim Murray talked openly earlier this summer about adding another veteran defenseman before the season starts. Training camp opens next week.... Read the full article

The Sabres acquired Jason Kasdorf in February. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Jason Kasdorf could be Sabres’ best goalie prospect

BUFFALO – Some of hockey’s biggest young names switched teams in the Sabres’ blockbuster seven-player trade with the Winnipeg Jets in February.

The Sabres paid a hefty price for 30-goal winger Evander Kane and workhorse defenseman Zach Bogosian, giving up slick defenseman Tyler Myers, forward prospects Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux, veteran winger Drew Stafford and a 2015 first-round pick.

Lost in the hubbub was a college goalie the Jets quietly sent the Sabres in ... Read the full article

Carlo Colaiacovo didn't sign a contract until October last year. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Carlo Colaiacovo excited for opportunity with Sabres

BUFFALO – Two days after signing a one-year contract with the Sabres, Carlo Colaiacovo hadn’t stopped smiling yet, the defenseman said Sunday.

A year ago, Colaiacovo couldn’t find work. As the summer dragged on, the free agent became uneasy. The stress wore on him.

Colaiacovo eventually decided to bolt to a Russian club in the KHL. But the contract took so long to consummate a one-year-deal with Philadelphia materialized in October before he could leave.... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons could have a long career with the Sabres. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ recent drafts have yielded mixed results

SUNRISE, Fla. – How good have the Buffalo Sabres drafted in recent years? Judge for yourself below.

Since most drafts don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at the Sabres’ selections from 2007-12 and some notable hits and misses. Sixteen of Buffalo’s 45 draft choices over that time – 36 percent – have made the NHL.

The Sabres have eight picks at this weekend’s NHL Draft, including the No. 2 selection, ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen (55) battles Philadelphia's Wayne Simmonds for the puck earlier this year. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen enjoying career-best stretch

BUFFALO – It was March 14, and Zach Bogosian’s injury had suddenly left the Sabres short-handed. Coach Ted Nolan needed a defenseman to fill the newcomer’s big minutes, so he turned to 20-year-old Rasmus Ristolainen, one of his top prospects.

At times, Ristolainen’s second NHL season had been a rough ride. He had already been playing 20 minutes many nights. Why add more to the youngster’s plate?

Nolan wanted to see how Ristolainen, ... Read the full article

Sabres goalie Matt Hackett stops Arizona's Shane Doan on Thursday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres fans revel in loss, cheer for Coyotes

BUFFALO – Mike Weber spoke passionately, like a man who felt jilted. The gritty defenseman had just experienced perhaps the oddest game of his career, the Sabres’ 4-3 overtime loss to the Arizona Coyotes.

The payoff, the prize for all the “suffering” for two seasons had been laid in front of Sabres fans Thursday, creating a bizarre scene inside the First Niagara Center that will likely never be repeated.

A loss to the 29th... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko has one goal this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Mikhail Grigorenko grateful for Ted Nolan’s honesty

BUFFALO – Sabres center Mikhail Grigorenko appreciates coach Ted Nolan’s honesty and tough love. The 20-year-old Russian sees it as a sign of support.

“I know everyone wants me to succeed in this organization,” Grigorenko said Thursday prior to the Sabres’ 4-3 overtime loss to the Arizona Coyotes inside the First Niagara Center. “Everyone has their ways. Teddy, he thinks being hard on me is only going to help me.”

Nolan ripped Grigorenko following his ... Read the full article

Matt Hackett has played three games this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Matt Hackett to start against Coyotes; Jerry D’Amigo out for season

BUFFALO – Naturally, starting Matt Hackett, a goalie with a weak .893 save percentage, over Anders Lindback, who has a gaudy .926 save percentage, for tonight’s McEichel showdown against the Arizona Coyotes might raise a few eyebrows.

But Sabres coach Ted Nolan has plenty of reasons to start Hackett, who made 40 saves in Saturday’s 3-0 loss in Nashville. The 25-year-old will become an unrestricted free agent if he doesn’t play five more games.... Read the full article

Matt Hackett has started three games this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Matt Hackett ready for start, must deal with soreness

BUFFALO – Almost a year later, Matt Hackett hasn’t fully recovered from his torn right ACL. The goalie still experiences soreness after games, so the Sabres want him to rest.

The 25-year-old performed strongly in Saturday’s 3-0 loss in Nashville, making 40 saves. But Sabres coach Ted Nolan started Anders Lindback on Monday in Dallas.

Hackett will likely start tonight’s contest against the Arizona Coyotes, his fourth nod this season.

“He fought through a long ... Read the full article