The Sabres drafted Philippe Boucher 13th overall in 1991. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Memories of 1991 NHL Draft in Buffalo special for former Sabres

BUFFALO – As Philippe Boucher approached Buffalo on his eight-hour drive from Quebec City on Wednesday, the 25th anniversary of the 1991 NHL Draft, the former Sabres defenseman sounded nostalgic recalling his life-changing day at Memorial Auditorium.

“To be drafted by Buffalo in Buffalo obviously added to that day,” Boucher said by phone.

Boucher watched the NHL Draft on Friday from the First Niagara Center stands as youngsters experienced the same emotions he felt ... Read the full article

Callum Booth could be drafted high this weekend. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres could be interested in goalie prospect Callum Booth

BUFFALO – Until he was 9 years old, NHL Draft prospect Callum Booth was just a regular skater on his youth team. He idolized Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavlier and loved the No. 4 his hero wore.

Then one day, tired of getting lit up, his team’s goalie “just gave up,” Booth recalled earlier this month at the NHL Scouting Combine. The coaches scrambled to find a replacement right before the playoffs. Booth was ... Read the full article

Former Sabres defenseman Philippe Boucher watched most of Pittsburgh's 2009 run to the Stanley Cup. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Dan Bylsma’s toughest coaching decision

The two friends met again under unusual circumstances.

It was February 2009, and Dan Bylsma, a 38-year-old rookie coach, was beginning the arduous task of replacing Michel Therrien and saving the sinking Pittsburgh Penguins’ Stanley Cup hopes. His oldest defenseman, 36-year-old Philippe Boucher, was injured and months away from retirement.

A decade earlier, as Los Angeles Kings teammates, the two had grown close. Boucher greatly respected Bylsma, who carved out a solid career as a ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko feels he belongs in the NHL. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Prospect Mikhail Grigorenko won’t report to junior, future with Sabres unclear

BUFFALO – Interim coach Ted Nolan said Mikhail Grigorenko “was a little bit upset” when the Sabres told the 19-year-old prospect he was going back to the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts.

“But this is non-negotiable,” Nolan said Saturday inside the Riverside Ice Rink. “It’s one of those things that has to be done.”

The Sabres didn’t understand just how much the demotion irked the Russian center.

Grigorenko won’t be reporting to the junior club, his agent, ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko was also sent back to junior last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres send prospect Mikhail Grigorenko back to junior; Ted Nolan says he hasn’t had any lengthy discussions about future

BUFFALO – Interim coach Ted Nolan said Mikhail Grigorenko “was a little bit upset” when the Sabres told the 19-year-old prospect he was going back to the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts.

“But this is non-negotiable,” Nolan said this morning inside the Riverside Ice Rink. “It’s one of those things that has to be done.”

Update: Grigorenko’s agent, Jay Grossman, confirmed to the Times Herald that Grigorenko won’t be reporting to the Remparts, something Le Soleil’s Kathleen ... Read the full article

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc piled up goals during his junior career. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Gauthier-Leduc could add flash to blue line

BUFFALO – Jerome Gauthier-Leduc was scoring goals from everywhere. The slick Rimouski Oceanic defenseman utilized his deadly accurate shots from the point. He used his teammates as screens perfectly. He pinched in as the extra man on the rush.

By October, the Sabres prospect had a goal in eight straight games, a new QMJHL record for defensemen.

“He’s a flashy guy,” said former Sabres defenseman Philippe Boucher, Rimouski’s general manager. “He likes to carry the ... Read the full article