Brian Gionta (left) receives a silver stick from Sabres general manager Tim Murray on Monday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres captain Brian Gionta honored for 1,000th game

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Tyler Ennis said undersized NHL players – a “brotherhood,” he called them – share “an unspoken bond.”

Small players, of course, have the odds stacked against them. Only they can truly understand what they endured to make the league.

Fifteen or 20 years ago, it was even tougher for them to crack the NHL. That’s why Ennis, who’s listed at 5-foot-9, grew up idolizing diminutive stars, including 5-foot-7 Sabres captain Brian ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis loved watching Brian Gionta growing up. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres captain Brian Gionta an inspiration to Tyler Ennis

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Tyler Ennis said undersized NHL players – a “brotherhood,” he called them – share “an unspoken bond.”

Small players, of course, have the odds stacked against them. Only they can truly understand what they endured to make the league.

Fifteen or 20 years ago, it was even tougher for them to crack the NHL. That’s why Ennis, who’s listed at 5-foot-9, grew up idolizing diminutive stars, including 5-foot-7 Sabres captain Brian ... Read the full article

Justin Bailey has become an elite AHL scorer. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Justin Bailey earning chances with top talents

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Dan Bylsma believes given Justin Bailey’s recent history, the talented rookie winger will start scoring at the NHL level.

Over the past year, the Williamsville native has morphed into a lethal AHL scorer, compiling 39 goals with the Rochester Americans, including 19 in 39 games this season.

Sooner or later, Bylsma thinks that scoring prowess will translate to the NHL. Bailey has one goal and two points in 14 games ... Read the full article

Daniel Briere retired in August. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres star Daniel Briere enjoying retirement

BUFFALO – Among the long-retired NHL talent and beer leaguers skating in the Corporate Challenge tournament the Sabres recently hosted, an undersized, boyish-looking 38-year-old with some slick moves and soft hands stood out.

The scene, in fact, looked pretty odd: former co-captain Daniel Briere, on the same ice he had once starred for the Sabres, playing in what amounted to an alumni game with some locals.

Six months after retiring, Briere is enjoying ... Read the full article

Lindy Ruff's Stars lead the NHL with 15 wins. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Lindy Ruff returns to Buffalo with elite Stars team

BUFFALO – A scorching start buoyed by the NHL’s best offense. Young superstar talent. Terrific depth.

When did the Dallas Stars’ Lindy Ruff have all that before? Nine years ago, when Ruff coached a slick young Sabres team to the 2006-07 Eastern Conference final following a 113-point regular season.

Back then, Ruff had a stacked club led by co-captains Daniel Briere and Chris Drury and young talent like Brian Campbell, Ryan Miller, Jason Pominville and ... Read the full article

Evander Kane (9) is helped off the ice Saturday by trainer Tim Macre and Jake McCabe. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres know Evander Kane’s loss will hurt

BUFFALO – The bad news, in some odd way, was still good for the struggling Sabres. A left MCL injury will only sideline winger Evander Kane four to six weeks, coach Dan Bylsma said.

At least the former 30-goal scorer will play again this season.

After New Jersey’s David Schlemko hit Kane hard into the corner boards late Saturday in the Sabres’ 4-3 loss, it appeared he might be finished as he writhed in pain ... Read the full article

Daniel Briere co-captained the Sabres. ©2015, Janet Schultz, Olean Times Herald

Highlights from Daniel Briere’s retirement news conference

Former Sabres co-captain Daniel Briere, who stills holds a special place in the hearts of many Buffalo sports fans, held his retirement news conference today in Philadelphia, where he played six seasons for the Flyers. As expected, the former high-scoring center was classy and thoughtful. Courtesy of the Flyers, here are some highlights from the 37-year-old Briere, who played with the Sabres from late 2002-03 through 2006-07.

On what the future holds:

“There’s many things ... Read the full article

Daniel Briere had a short but dynamic run with the Sabres. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres co-captain Daniel Briere retires

Daniel Briere, the popular high-scoring center and clutch co-captain of two powerhouse Buffalo Sabres teams, has retired from the NHL.

The 37-year-old announced the end of his 17-year career in a column in Le Droit, a French-Canadian newspaper. Read the article here and the translation here.

Briere knew the end was coming. During a Dec. 20 visit to Buffalo with the Colorado Avalanche, his third team in three seasons, he said he wanted to ... Read the full article

Joe Cecconi couldn't hide his excitement Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Youngstown native Joe Cecconi drafted by Stars

SUNRISE, Fla. – Youngstown native Joe Cecconi said he started getting “a little bit scared” as the NHL Draft wore on Saturday. The defense prospect still hadn’t been picked almost halfway through the fifth round.

“I was like something might not happen, I might not get chosen,” a smiling Cecconi said after the Dallas Stars selected him 133rd overall inside the BB&T Center. “But seeing Dallas was up and they called my name, the ... Read the full article

Daniel Briere once starred for the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres star Daniel Briere treasuring end of career

BUFFALO – Former Sabres star Daniel Briere knows the end is coming soon. At 37 years old, he’s now a graying forward with the Colorado Avalanche. His new club scratched him seven straight games earlier this season. He skates less than 10 minutes some nights.

But the likable Briere won’t speculate about how long his once-dynamic career will last. Instead, he’s trying to treasure his remaining days in the NHL.

“I’m trying to enjoy what’s ... Read the full article