Nathan Beaulieu spent four years in Montreal. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres re-sign Nathan Beaulieu to two-year contract

BUFFALO – The Sabres have re-signed defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to a two-year, $4.8 million contract, the team announced today.

Beaulieu, a restricted free agent, had an arbitration hearing scheduled for Friday.

With Beaulieu’s deal done, the Sabres only have one unsigned RFA, forward Zemgus Girgensons.

The Sabres acquired Beaulieu, 24, from the Montreal Canadiens on June 17 for a 2017 third-round pick.

Beaulieu has played 225 NHL games over four seasons, compiling seven goals, ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo missed the end of last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo returns to ice

Buffalo Sabres winger Kyle Okposo, who was reportedly hospitalized late last season in the neuro surgical intensive care unit at Buffalo General Hospital, played in an informal summer league game Wednesday in Minnesota, his first notable action in months.

Okposo, 29, missed the final six games of 2016-17, his first season with the Sabres after signing a seven-year, $42 million contract. He paid immediate dividends, compiling 19 goals and 45 points in 65 appearances.... Read the full article

Brian Gionta is a free agent. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Brian Gionta likely won’t return to Sabres

BUFFALO – The chances of veteran winger Brian Gionta returning to the Sabres for his 16th NHL season “are pretty remote,” his agent said today.

“While we haven’t slammed the door – and I don’t think they have, either – I think they’ve also been pretty honest that it’s probably going to be a fairly unlikely scenario,” Steve Bartlett told the Times Herald. “So I’ve been focusing on trying to look at other opportunities for ... Read the full article

Marcus Davidsson stayed at home for the NHL Draft. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Marcus Davidsson wishes he attended NHL Draft

BUFFALO – If Marcus Davidsson had known he would be selected so early – the Sabres grabbed the center in the second round, 37th overall – then he would’ve attended the NHL Draft last month in Chicago.

Instead, Davidsson, 18, followed the draft at home in Sweden with his family and friends.... Read the full article

Phil Housley likes Marco Scandella's talents. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Phil Housley likes defense, plans to lean on Marco Scandella

BUFFALO – In a two-week span last month, general manager Jason Botterill addressed the Sabres’ most glaring weakness by acquiring defensemen Nathan Beaulieu and Marco Scandella.

Is either player elite? Hardly. Still, as puck-moving defenders, Beaulieu and Scandella offer talents the Sabres sorely lacked last season and add some much-needed depth.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel could have a new deal soon. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill optimistic about Jack Eichel’s contract extension

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill spoke optimistically this morning about young star Jack Eichel signing a contract extension in the near future.

“Our conversations with Jack and the group have gone extremely well,” Botterill said inside HarborCenter following the close of development camp. “We’ll continue those throughout the summer here and stuff to see if we can find a common ground. From our standpoint, we certainly want to get something done, and from ... Read the full article

Sean Malone played one NHL game last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Sean Malone healthy, ready for pro hockey

BUFFALO – Before Sabres prospect Sean Malone knew it, his short taste of the NHL, the finishing touch on his whirlwind season, was over.

On April 6, the West Seneca native played his 115th and final game with Harvard, a 2-1 loss to Minnesota Duluth in the semifinal of the NCAA Tournament. Two days later, Malone debuted with the Sabres, skating 12 minutes, 12 seconds in their 3-0 road loss to the Florida Panthers.... Read the full article

Randy Sexton talks Saturday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres assistant GM Randy Sexton passionate about new job

BUFFALO – After Randy Sexton completed his duties with the Pittsburgh Penguins last month, the veteran executive caught an early flight from the NHL Draft in Chicago to begin his job as one of the Sabres’ new assistant general managers.

Just weeks after winning his second straight Stanley Cup, Sexton was leaving a strong gig as Pittsburgh’s director of amateur scouting. Still, the opportunity to work with his friend, new Sabres GM Jason Botterill, ... Read the full article

Brendan Guhle is the Sabres' top defense prospect. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Brendan Guhle, other Sabres prospects must prove themselves

BUFFALO – As Brendan Guhle watched the Nashville Predators’ recent run to the Stanley Cup final, the Sabres prospect developed an appreciation for their dynamic defense corps, a group coached by Phil Housley.

So when the Sabres named Housley, a Hall of Fame defenseman, head coach June 15, Guhle said he was “pretty excited.”... Read the full article

Chris Taylor knows the Amerks and Sabres well. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Friendship with Sabres GM Jason Botterill led Chris Taylor back to Amerks

ROCHESTER – Barely a year ago, after 14 seasons with the Americans as an AHL player and assistant coach, Chris Taylor was let go, the victim of new head coach Dan Lambert’s desire to field his own staff.

On Thursday, the Amerks, the Buffalo Sabres’ top affiliate, introduced Taylor as the 32nd head coach in franchise history.

A fired coach, of course, rarely returns to his old team, let alone in a larger role so ... Read the full article