Jason Pominville played five seasons in Minnesota. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Jason Pominville thrilled to return to Sabres, Buffalo

BUFFALO – After Jason Pominville learned he had been traded back to the Sabres today, like any good parent, he began worrying about how his children would react.

But right away, Jayden, his 7-year-old son, and Kaylee, his 5-year-old daughter, eased his fears.

“My little guy already has his jersey on right now, so he’s pumped and we’re excited,” Pominville said shortly after the Sabres reacquired him from the Minnesota Wild. “I couldn’t be happier ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville left the Sabres in 2013. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres acquire Marco Scandella, Jason Pominville from Wild for Tyler Ennis, Marcus Foligno

BUFFALO – Jason Botterill’s first multi-player trade is a big one, as the Sabres general manager today acquired defenseman Marco Scandella and former team captain Jason Pominville from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for wingers Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno.

“My little guy already has his jersey on right now, so he’s pumped and we’re excited,” Pominville said this afternoon on a conference call. “I couldn’t be happier for me and my family going somewhere ... Read the full article

Chad Johnson spent last season in Calgary. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres face challenges adding talent in free agency

BUFFALO – For a team fresh off a last-place finish, the Sabres have a high number of contracts, including a few bloated ones, in place for next season.

Counting restricted free agents expected to be back, the Sabres already have about 19 players who could be regulars in 2017-18. Veterans Zach Bogosian, Josh Gorges and Matt Moulson combine for more than $14 million of salary cap space.

Bad teams usually don’t approach the cap, but ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel just completed a 57-point season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Report: Sabres start contract extension discussions with Jack Eichel

The Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel’s camp have started “preliminary discussions” about a contract extension for the star center, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

The 20-year-old has one year with a base salary of $925,000 left on his entry-level deal. He can’t sign an extension until July 1.

If superstar Connor McDavid’s reported new contract – an eight-year deal with an average annual value of $13.25 million – is any indication, Eichel will break the ... Read the full article

Randy Sexton left Pittsburgh to join the Sabres. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres hire Randy Sexton, Steve Greeley as assistant GMs

BUFFALO – The Sabres have hired Randy Sexton and Steve Greeley as assistant general managers, the team announced this morning.

Mark Jakubowski, the Sabres’ assistant GM the last three years, has been named vice president of hockey administration.

It was widely reported the Sabres would hire the 57-year-old Sexton, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ director of amateur scouting the last seven years. The Sabres hired GM Jason Botterill from the Penguins on May 11.

Sexton will also ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill had to run a draft with scouts he barely knows. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill comfortable with scouts for NHL Draft

CHICAGO – When Jason Botterill was named Buffalo Sabres general manager May 11, he entered what he called a “different situation.”

The Sabres also fired amateur scouting director Greg Royce with GM Tim Murray on April 20. Botterill inherited Jeff Crisp, the team’s head amateur scout, and Murray’s old scouts.

So Botterill only had six weeks to prepare for the NHL Draft with Crisp and his new staff, not exactly ideal.... Read the full article

Jason Botterill doesn't want to rush. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill stays patient at NHL Draft

CHICAGO – Forget about the quick fix. The Buffalo Sabres left the NHL Draft festivities with six prospects and nothing else.

As trade activity engulfed the NHL over the past few days, new Sabres general manager Jason Botterill stayed quiet, choosing to take the patient approach.

Botterill, the hockey world learned, will remake the Sabres, a team six years removed from its last playoff appearance, at his own speed. Outside expectations won’t influence the 41-year-old, ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen met with the Sabres at the NHL Scouting Combine. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen sensed interest from Sabres

CHICAGO – When Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen surveys Buffalo’s goaltending depth chart, the 18-year-old Finn sees an opportunity. With Cal Petersen passing on the Sabres, the team wants another strong netminding prospect to fill the void.

So in the second round Saturday, 54th overall, the Sabres selected Luukkonen at the NHL Draft.... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was all smiles this morning. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen excited for opportunity with Sabres

CHICAGO – When Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen surveys Buffalo’s goaltending depth chart, the 18-year-old Finn sees an opportunity. With Cal Petersen passing on the Sabres, the team wants another strong netminding prospect to fill the void.

So in the second round this morning, 54th overall, the Sabres selected Luukkonen at the NHL Draft.... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt smiled a lot Friday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Casey Mittelstadt happy to be Sabres’ top pick

CHICAGO – As the first round of the NHL Draft approached, no one seemed to have any idea how the early portion would play out and where youngsters like new Buffalo Sabres prospect Casey Mittelstadt could be picked.

Sure, it was expected centers Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick would go first and second overall Friday, and they did. But after that, several guys like Mittelstadt were pegged to go anywhere from third or fourth or ... Read the full article